Der erste Abend der Serie Spiritual Jazz ist dem Komponisten Charles Mingus gewidmet. Sein Spiel und seine Kompositionen sind sehr am traditionellen Gospel und Blues orientiert. Er hatte die Fähigkeit durch seine individuelle Sichtweise aus diesem Musikmaterial, auch unter dem Einfluss für ihn wichtiger politischer Ereignisse sehr charakteristische Stücke zu kreieren. Diese Stücke bewegen viele Menschen auf der ganzen Welt. Zu Lebzeiten von Charles Mingus war der Umgang mit anderen Menschen oft sehr schwierig. Unser Freund Mansur Scott hat uns die Geschichte erzählt, wie er Charles Mingus persönlich kennen gelernt hat.
Und zwar ereignete sich folgendes:
Lenox Avenue, Harlem, New York der 60-er Jahre.
Ein Mann rennt außer sich, in wilder Verzweiflung, mitten auf der Straße die Lenox Avenue vom Central Park nach Uptown und schmeißt Geldscheine auf die Straße. Die Leute denken ganz schlimme Dinge, niemand greift in des Geschehen ein, bis Mansur Scott dazukommt und sieht, dass der Mann auf der Straße Charles Mingus ist. Mansur geht auf Charles Mingus zu, versucht ihn langsam zu beruhigen, sammelt, soweit es geht, manche Geldscheine ein, führt Charles Mingus von der Straße in eine ruhige Umgebung, gibt ihm seine Geldscheine. Wann immer in der Zukunft Mansur bei einem Konzert des weltbekannten Musikers auftaucht, ist er sein Ehrengast.
Wenn man die Musik von Charles Mingus über viele Jahre mit Musikern unterschiedlicher kultureller Herkunft spielt, entdeckt man Dinge, die zeigen wie nahe sich Musiker auf einem bestimmten Level immer wieder sind und wie sie korrelieren.
All the music that is played and felt at Café Museum is spiritual: wild, free, and filled with love. Music which draws inspiration from long and various musical traditions. Music based on a growth process with structures that are apparent at times, while at other times revealing themselves on a higher plane.
Humans have created a lot of music in praise of God, the most abstract product of the human imagination. Striving for the innermost, the highest, and the best keeps motivating musicians to bring forth new creations. Playing with the old structures, expressing their love, and getting closer to God, and finally, becoming one with it. In this sense, death is life´s last movement. For those who want even more, they write a heavenly symphony as an encore.
There are different approaches to get closer to God and the absolute. One way is to see the moment as divine. And that is what we look for in love as well as in music: the moment, the act of letting go and entering a higher form of consciousness.
We wish we could have such divine moments all the time. But love comes and goes. This is one of its characteristics. Love can´t be bought, while at the same time it is the sum of everything.
To grow and learn, we will be playing music at Café Museum under the title Spiritual Jazz: the music of artists who we feel and love especially strongly. Which does not change the fact that all music played at Café Museum is spiritual.
MINGUS, April 3rd
The first evening of the Spiritual Jazz series will be dedicated to the composer Charles Mingus. His playing and his compositions are strongly influenced by spiritual gospel and the blues.
His approach was unique, and his compositions were characterized by his interpretation of the tradition as well as his take on current political events. Many people all over the world are moved by his music.
As a person, Charles Mingus apparently was quite the character.
Our dear friend Mansur Scott shared with us the story of how he got to know him. This is what happened: Lennox Avenue, Harlem, New York in the Sixties. A man is running uptown from Central Park on Lennox Avenue, wildly desperate and throwing dollar bills into the street. People assume the worst, nobody dares to do anything. Until Mansur Scott joins the scene and realizes that the man running in the street is Charles Mingus. Mansur approaches him, he tries to calm him down and tries to collect some of the bills. He leads him away from the street to a quieter area, handing him his money.
From this day forward, whenever Mansur Scott would show up at a concert of Mingus, he was the guest of honor.
After playing the music of Charles Mingus over a long period with different musicians from different cultures, you discover how close musicians really are to each other on a certain level.
LEADBELLY AND OTHER EASTER SONGS, April 4th
The blues musician Leadbelly marks the starting point of this musical journey. The sax player Clifford Jordan released a record with the music of Leadbelly in a jazz context in 1965. It turned into an interesting musical document. It was also in the early sixties when the saxophone player Albert Ayler hit the New York scene.
Many musicians of at that time felt a strong desire to break out of the old structures. We will be playing the piece "Ghosts" by Albert Ayler, which in spite of sounding very free, clearly refers to African American church music.
John Coltrane was a musician who managed to blend his life and his music at a young age, so he departed from earth, leaving his brilliant music as a legacy. His companion, McCoy Tyner, was equally brilliant.
Going forward, we will also be playing music by Gary Bartz, Henry Threadgill, David Murray, and Abdullah Ibrahim. All of them are unique musicians, and we are grateful to learn from and be inspired by their music.