[Dixielandjazz] Mingus story

Ed Danielson mcvouty78 at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 21 14:24:15 PST 2004

Great story, Steve!  That must have been the "Mingus-Ah-Um" era band, with 
Jimmy Knepper, Booker Ervin, Dannie Richmond and all those guys, right?  
"Better Get It in Your Soul," "Boogie Stop Shuffle" and "Goodbye Porkpie 
Hat" -- great stuff.

Mingus was the first "modern" jazz musician I paid attention to.  The critic 
Martin Williams hosted a syndicated jazz radio show sometime around 1958 (I 
was still in grade school, but was listening to Kid Ory, Don Ewell and Lu 
Watters) that was aired on Denver's classical music station.  One night 
Williams played Mingus' Pithecanthropus Erectus.  I was immediately 
impressed.  Bringing order-out-of-chaos:  I've always thought that was the 
key to digging Mingus.  Too many Mingus disciples focus on recreating the 
chaotic sections of his music, rather than their resolution; but Mingus was 
a superb melodist who never left you out in the ozone.  He had a deep 
appreciation of jazz tradition, too, writing a very cool and catchy piece 
dedicated to Jelly Roll Morton... also on "Mingus-Ah-Um," come to think of 

I got to see Mingus, finally, in the mid 1970s.  He played Boulder High 
School, of all places.  He was still a monster -- and Dannie Richmond was 
still drumming for him.

Happy holidays to everyone on this very interesting e-mail list.

Ed Danielson

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list