Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Not Moanin' About Mingus At The Proms

Ah Um, RTomens, 2017

Watched Beneath the Underdog: Charles Mingus Revisited at The Proms on Friday night with some trepidation, as I'm sure many Mingus fans did, but thankfully no crimes were committed in His name. Black saint and occasional sinner Mingus is not to be messed with. At times the orchestration veered towards over arrangement but never crossed the line between remaking tunes and totally ruining them. As you know, Mingus was a masterful arranger without ever losing the blood, guts 'n' blues born in fingers that can sound as if they're ripping the very soul from the man in order to express himself. 

But who's the crazy dude with the pink hair holding a baritone? Leo Pelligrino, actually, as I found out later. His hi-energy ass-wiggling, comedic and sometimes sassy intro to Moanin' was a delight. Mingus might have been turning in his grave but I loved this as pure entertainment which injected spirit (albeit the spirit of both a clown and great Texas R&B honkers of the past) into the night. 

Leo's in a band called Too Many Zoos. Their Bandcamp page is here. More of my art here.

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