Tuesday, 14 September 2010

So Long, Eric

Incredible to find something like this on YouTube showing "0 views," but that's what it said when I found it. Anyway, there's been a meme going round on Facebook lately, in which one takes 15 minutes to think of 15 albums which have had a major influence on one's life. They don't qualify as a single album, and I'm not sure they would make the cut even if they were, but the various live recordings from the European tour of this ill-fated Mingus outfit of 1964 were in heavy rotation for me after I discovered them in Japan in 1990 or so. Here we see Johnny Coles in fine form before his collapse onstage in Paris, and Mingus seeming to enjoy himself thoroughly, even when his bass slides away from him at the abortive start of this song, written in honor of Eric Dolphy, who was to depart the band (and later the planet) at the end of the tour. Sadly, this version, like Dolphy's career, is cut short, with the best still yet to come.

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