If there's one all encompassing word that describes Charles Mingus essential track "Moanin'"... it's "PULP".
When I first heard the Baritone sax blaze out the indelible opening lick... I was instantly hooked, like the man with golden arm... all I could see were hoodwink gangsters with pinstripe fedora, private eyes with mud on their face... grifters and trigger-men, tommy guns and Jessica Rabbits... the grittiest pulp, the bloodiest meat hooks, the biggest Cadillac trunks, the hardest slang... I'm talking the kind of pulp that would slap those angels dirty faces... the kind of fiction that Tarantino wishes movie theaters would let him play.
See, around here we're massive fans of pulp jargon, movies, books and music... from brilliantly written films like "The Secret to Success" (Burt Lancaster), to collective noir books like "Straight from the Fridge, Dad" (a dictionary of Hipster Slang)... the sounds of Mingus Moanin' instantly slammed one solid idea into my mind...
Black Market Pulp... low down and dirty, groovy beyond all get out.
So Yeah... Mingus has an exceptional catalog of amazing grooves... the cat is made of jazz, undoubtedly... but there was something about "Blues & Roots" that entirely captured me... I enjoy challenging music, but this is one of the few jazz albums that I instantly adopted (or vice-versa)... it owned me.
That's not to say I'm not entirely enamored by Mingus Hard Bop experimental soul... but his Blues & Roots side holds a special place in my heart... it reminds me of a time when civility was only trench coat thick, when hot lead was the answer, and dames was nothing but a trap... it takes some serious musical insight to capture a period like that, with so much distinguishing essence.
Now I'm gonna give you to the count of ten,
to buy this one-and-only classic Charles Mingus t-shirt,
that's gonna make your jazz friends flip their shit!
And keep the change.... ya filthy animal!!