In the annals of jazz, Charles Mingus—bassist, pianist, composer, bandleader, unique, headstrong, and deeply influential in every category—occupies the transit point between Duke Ellington and the post-’60s avant-garde, a station he carved out deliberately. He venerated Ellington—his sophisticated rhythms and tonal colors, but also his attention to melody, harmony, and structure—and went beyond him (careened down a different path) in expressing emotion, chaos, and anger; it’s these elements that the avant-gardists took from him, while abandoning (to a degree that intrigued but also discomforted Mingus) Ellingtonian form. Critic Gary Giddins described Mingus as the “most persistently apocalyptic voice” in jazz—“the best example we have of disciplined turmoil.”
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Round Trip: Ornette Coleman’s Blue Note sides
CH Precision D1.5 SACD/CD/MQA-CD Player/Transport
There’s a school of thought that maintains that among all hi-fi components, the D/A converter is easiest to perfect or come close to perfecting. Just make sure that every sample is converted accurately, that there’s little rolloff in the audioband, that aliased images are suppressed almost completely, and that background noise is extremely low, and you have a top-quality D/A processor. Use of a high-quality DAC chip is assumed.
Paradox’s remarkable Phono 70 Signature MC phono preamplifier
Stax, EAR, and Bob’s Devices
SINGING TO THE SOUL
THE MAGIC OF ART SONG ON RECORD
MayFly Audio Systems MF-201A LOUDSPEAKER
If you’ve ever read Homer’s Iliad, you probably remember the Cata-log of Ships at the beginning. It’s an exhaustive record of the contingents the Achean army deployed against Troy, naming the commanders, their hometowns, the number of ships in each contingent, and more. Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s a snoozefest. It makes you dread what’s next. But of course, if you come to this point only to abandon the Iliad in frustration, you’ll miss the fabulous war epic that follows, chockablock with action, drama, and romance.
Gold Note PH-1000 PHONO PREAMPLIFIER
Gold Note’s $11,999 PH-1000 is by a con-siderable margin the most sophisticated, most configurable phono preamplifier that any audio manufacturer has ever produced, at least that I know of. Remarkably, considering all that flexibility and sophistication, using and adjusting the PH-1000 is straightforward.
“Music Was Mine to Experience.”
For all its ghastliness and heartbreak, the COVID-19 pandemic has been good to Keb’ Mo’. When the virus hit the US, it forced the cancelation of a string of his concerts. “I was getting a little burned out on touring,” he confesses.
The Secret History of Washington, DC, R&B
Forget about the sound of the recording.
MY BACK PAGES
Discovering the Splendor of SLAG
A pile of slag remaining from copper smelting operations of 1930s Cottonwood, Arizona is one area of focus for Minerals Research, Inc. (MRI), the company pursuing a 15-20 year process to remove the pile using innovative recovery technology.