Speaks his mind on music & movies!
From the opening intro you know (or CB did) that you’re in for some kind of a ride. Willner along with Bill Frisell and the gathered musicians (top notch) set the tone and the vibe early. Being a Mingus fan and having dug Willner’s Disney album I was anticipating this music. There is so much going on to digest. Not an easy laid back listen. Like Mingus it stirs up many moods, styles and never plays it straight. Lots of shifts in tempo.
Hal uses the base musicians to back up the guests. Robbie Robertson, Henry Rollins, Chuck D, Keith Richards. All have a career in “Talk Jazz” if they ever want it and I would be all over it. So many good folks on this record, Elvis Costello, Charlie Watts, Vernon Reid, Dr John and many more. Talking about this music should be left to others more capable. For me it is a listening experience that I really go for. Under it all is Charles’s presence and Willner never loses sight or feel of that. He brings in the right personnel (and they all contribute in a big way). I think he catches the inspiration and what moved him from Mingus’ work which is no easy job.
If you don’t like Charles Mingus music this album won’t change your mind. If you do like his music I think you will really dig it. If you’re new to the music and it grabs you, you’re in for a treat.
Bracket some time and take a ride on the Mingus/Willner excursion into a weird nightmare. The trip starts when you press play or put the needle down. This is some good jazz Mingus style.
(The links below feature Robbie Robertson, Henry Rollins, Chuck D respectfully. Last cut is a big band cut with Charlie Watts on drums who is a jazz guy at heart).
(There are very good accompanying notes. Hal gives a nod to Harry Patch who is worth some time exploring)
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