Charles Mingus: Moanin'
Listening to Charles Mingus is my definition of a cathartic experience. I can name only a few artists whose music can cut to the core of me in the same way that his does. It is an earthy, roots-based, bawdy expression of life's emotional range – rapture, euphoria, despair, contemplation, anger, indignation, desire, and on and on.
It's not just the melodies and harmonies that accomplish this, it's the human element of performance personality that solidifies these ideas. It is the musical gestures and shapes. It is the way his musicians embraced production noise as a tool of expression. It is the way the community of performers in the band didn't hold back if they felt compelled to yell, or sing, or vocalize in any capacity during a set. It is an expression of life. Sometimes it is sloppy, seemingly disorganized, and even cacophonous, but Mingus's pen had a direct line to his soul, and his musicians performed with every ounce of vim and vigor they could muster.
Read on for my full thoughts.
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