Arts For The Love Of Mingus
posted by November 27 at 10:07 AMon
If the power that fuels Coltrane’s genius is cosmic spirituality, then the power that fuels Mingus’s genius is the most human, the most direct form of love.
We are but stick insects in the shadow of such artistic greatness. And the love Mingus had and generated in the short space of his life is the kind of love (a love that is concentrated in the moment, in the realm of life, in the biological, the physical, the temporal, the here and now and nowhere else) we can no longer even imagine it—let alone reproduce it. We the weak ( we who give pity the highest status in all our doings-sex, pregnancy, life, death) can only hear it on Pithecanthropus Erectus, be excited by it in the opening of “Love Chant” or the end of “Profile of Jackie,” and then, when the music stops, fall into despair because we are nothing more then moral and emotional stick insects, incapable of reaching, matching, expressing our world situation with such determination, intensity, and honesty. “To speak the truth and to shoot well with arrows,” was not only a “Persian virtue,” it was also that of the masters of modern jazz (1947-1969).
Note: I’m not sure if stick insects exist in the US, but there are plenty of them in Zimbabwe. Their ridiculous appearance, and the way they clumsily fly through the air, is such a shame, such a motherfucking shame. They are the penguins of the insect world.
The miserable stick insect we are.