The lyrics speak for themselves.Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em shoot us!Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em stab us!Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em tar and feather us!Oh, Lord, no more swastikas!Oh, Lord, no more Ku Klux Klan!Name me someone who’s ridiculous, Dannie.Governor Faubus!Why is he so sick and ridiculous?He won’t permit integrated schools.Then he’s a fool! Boo! Nazi Fascist supremacists!Boo! Ku Klux Klan (with your Jim Crow plan)Name me a handful that’s ridiculous, Dannie Richmond.Faubus, Rockefeller, EisenhowerWhy are they so sick and ridiculous?Two, four, six, eight:They brainwash and teach you hate.H-E-L-L-O, Hello.Were Mingus still alive today, I’m sure he’d have some music to indict Trump, his clan, and his racist gubernatorial and senatorial enablers.Mingus was born on April 22, 1922, and died Jan. 5, 1979. The Charles Mingus website maintains his legacy; content includes a biography and Mingus’ complete discography.One of the most important figures in 20th century American music, Charles Mingus was a virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist, bandleader and composer. Born on a military base in Nogales, Arizona in 1922 and raised in Watts, California, his earliest musical influences came from the church—choir and group singing—and from “hearing Duke Ellington over the radio when [he] was eight years old.” He studied double bass and composition in a formal way (five years with H. Rheinshagen, principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic, and compositional techniques with the legendary Lloyd Reese) while absorbing vernacular music from the great jazz masters first-hand. His early professional experience, in the 1940s, found him touring with bands like Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory and Lionel Hampton.Eventually he settled in New York where he played and recorded with the leading musicians of the 1950s—Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Duke Ellington himself. One of the few bassists to do so, Mingus quickly developed as a leader of musicians. He was also an accomplished pianist who could have made a career playing that instrument. By the mid-50s, he had formed his own publishing and recording companies to protect and document his growing repertoire of original music. He also founded the Jazz Workshop, a group which enabled young composers to have their new works performed in concert and on recordings.Mingus soon found himself at the forefront of the avant-garde. His recordings bear witness to the extraordinarily creative body of work that followed. They include: Pithecanthropus Erectus, The Clown, Tijuana Moods, Mingus Dynasty, Mingus Ah Um, The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Cumbia and Jazz Fusion, Let My Children Hear Music. He recorded over a hundred albums and wrote over 300 scores.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Enjoy “Wednesday Night Prayer Service,” from 1960’s Blues & Roots.As a person who was raised on (and loves) the poetry and short stories of Langston Hughes, it wasn’t until recently that I became aware of the fact that in 1958, Mingus collaborated with Hughes on an album.Two years after Hughes read “Jazz as Communication” at the Newport Jazz Festival, he collaborated with Feather’s All-Star Sextet and Mingus and the Horace Parlan Quintet on an album first released as The Weary Blues. It has recently been re-released by Fingertips as Harlem in Vogue—22 tracks of Hughes reading poems like “The Weary Blues,” “Blues at Dawn,” and “Same in Blues/Comment on Curb” (top) over original compositions by Feather and Mingus, with six additional tracks of Hughes reading solo and two original songs by Bob Dorough with the Bob Dorough Quintet. (Mingus plays bass on tracks 11-18.)Here’s “Double G Train.”One of Mingus’ compositions that always touches me is his 1959 tribute to saxophonist Lester Young, known in the jazz world as “Prez,” whose sartorial signature was his hat.In a 1963 re-release, Mingus renamed the song “Theme for Lester Young.”One would not normally put the name of Charlie Mingus together with that of Joni Mitchell, and yet, toward the end of his life, he reached out to Mitchell, to initiate an unlikely collaboration: adding lyrics to the Lester Young tribute. Jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote about the collaboration at the time for the Los Angeles Times.Word reached her a couple of years ago that Mingus had something in mind for her to do. When she called him, Mingus told her that he had an idea for a piece of music based on an excerpt from TS Elliot’s “Four Quartets,” with a full orchestra, and overlaid on it a bass and guitar, with a reader quoting Elliot. “He wanted me to distil Elliot down into street language, and sing it mixed with this reader. “Though Mitchell was fascinated by the idea, and spent time reading the Elliot book, she decided that it was not feasible – “I called Charles back and told him I couldn’t do it; it seemed like a kind of sacrilege.”In April 1977, Mingus called with the news that he had written six songs with her in mind, and wanted her to write words for them and sing them. “I went to visit him and liked him immediately. He was already sick and in a wheelchair, but still very vital and concerned. “We started searching through his material, and he said, ‘Now this one has five different melodies.’ I said, ‘You mean you want me to write five different sets of lyrics?’ He said yes, then put one on and it was the fastest boogie-est thing I’d ever heard, and it was impossible! So this was like a joke on me; he was testing and teasing me, but in good fun.”Mitchell made several visits to the Mingus home in New York, listening to some of the his older themes on records as well as discussing the newer works and his lyrical ideas for them. “Then, because he had become very seriously ill, he and his wife Sue went to Mexico, to a faith healer, and during that time I spent 10 days with them. At that point his speech had deteriorated severely. Every night he would say to me, ‘I want to talk to you about the music,’ and every day it would be too difficult. So some of what he had to tell me remained a mystery.“Sue gave me a lot of tapes and interviews, and they were thrilling to me, because so much of what he felt and described was kindred to my own feelings. He articulated lessons that were laid on him by Fats Navarro, the trumpeter, and others.”Mingus ultimately succumbed to ALS in 1979.xToday we remember Charles Mingus, who, on this day 41 years ago, died from ALS.“Sue and the holy riverWill send you to the saints of jazz –To Duke and Bird and Fats –And any other saints you have.”From Joni Mitchell’s liner notes to the album “Mingus” pic.twitter.com/2M5v51kTb6— Charles Mingus (@Mingus) January 5, 2020Mingus was sheer genius, and whether or not he ranks as your favorite jazz bassist, he will always be regarded as seminal in the history of jazz. Wherever you are, Charlie—take a bow. Stay tuned next Sunday for more bassists, including Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Stanley Clarke, and Esperanza Spaulding! Mingus’ story is also told in the documentary, Triumph of the Underdog—a title which echoes the title of his autobiography, Beneath the Underdog.Charles Mingus–Triumph of the Underdog is the first comprehensive documentary about jazz bassist, bandleader, and composer Charles Mingus. Mingus led a tumultuous life filled with trauma and frustration, joy and creativity. Not light enough to be considered white and not dark enough to fit into the black community, he was an outcast in American society who charted his own path. Likewise, his legacy as a 20th century composer reaches far beyond conventional jazz idioms.Mingus apprenticed with people like Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, and Charlie Parker before going out on his own and becoming a musical force for more than a decade. When interest in his music waned at the height of the rock era in the mid-1960s, and one of his closest collaborators, Eric Dolphy, died, Mingus was institutionalized due to psychological problems. Upon his return to the music scene, he began playing more concerts and his record sales zoomed. This golden period of recognition ended when he contracted Lou Gehrig’s Disease and his muscles began to deteriorate. He died in 1979.His autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, made waves when it was first published in 1971.Bass player extraordinaire Charles Mingus, (was) one of the essential composers in the history of jazz, and Beneath the Underdog, his celebrated, wild, funny, demonic, anguished, shocking, and profoundly moving memoir, is the greatest autobiography ever written by a jazz musician. It tells of his God-haunted childhood in Watts during the 1920s and 1930s; his outcast adolescent years; his apprenticeship, not only with jazzmen but also with pimps, hookers, junkies, and hoodlums; and his golden years in New York City with such legendary figures as Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. Here is Mingus in his own words, from shabby roadhouses to fabulous estates, from the psychiatric wards of Bellevue to worlds of mysticism and solitude, but for all his travels never straying too far, always returning to music.You will either love this book or hate it. It is raunchy, gritty, honest, sex-laden, and sad in many ways.- Advertisement – Probably one of the most interesting biographical takes on Mingus, the man and his music, is more recent: Nichole Rustin-Paschal’s The Kind of Man I Am: Jazzmasculinity and the World of Charles Mingus Jr., which was published in 2017. Nearly four decades after his death, Charles Mingus Jr. remains one of the least understood and most recognized jazz composers and musicians of our time. Mingus’s ideas about music, racial identity, and masculinity―as well as those of other individuals in his circle, like Celia Mingus, Hazel Scott, and Joni Mitchell―challenged jazz itself as a model of freedom, inclusion, creativity, and emotional expressivity. Drawing on archival records, published memoirs, and previously conducted interviews, The Kind of Man I Am uses Mingus as a lens through which to craft a gendered cultural history of postwar jazz culture. This book challenges the persisting narrative of Mingus as jazz’s “Angry Man” by examining the ways the language of emotion has been used in jazz as shorthand for competing ideas about masculinity, authenticity, performance, and authority.As a person who has taught gender studies, this book piqued my interest, since Rustin-Paschal not only addresses Mingus, but also the erasure of women in jazz like Hazel Scott, who I wrote about in October.Often acclaimed as the greatest jazz bassist, Mingus was and always will be a figure of controversy, as Adam Shatz wrote for The Nation in 2013.It enraged him that Miles (Davis) and the hard boppers had been given credit for his innovations. It enraged him even more when Ornette (Coleman) blew into town with his plastic yellow saxophone, pianoless quartet and ideology of collective improvisation, launching the free jazz revolution and attracting nearly as many imitators as Charlie Parker. Ornette and his followers, Mingus complained to (biographer John) Goodman, were like surgeons who couldn’t retrace their steps: “if I’m a surgeon, am I going to cut you open ‘by heart,’ just free-form it, you know? … I’m not avant-garde, no. I don’t throw rocks and stones, I don’t throw my paint.” Still, Mingus knew a good idea when he heard one. His 1960 session Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus features a pianoless quartet that ventured even further from Mingus’s melodies than Coleman did from his, as if Mingus were bent on proving that he was more modern than the avant-garde. Whatever moved Mingus ended up in his music, whether it was the mariachi he heard on his trips to brothels south of the border and included in Tijuana Moods, recorded in 1957, or the experimental tape music of his 1962 self-portrait “Passions of a Man,” in which he overdubbed himself mumbling in an unintelligible made-up language while his band invoked half-remembered fragments of other Mingus compositions, taking us deep inside the funhouse of his unconscious. […]Mingus’s reverence for the tradition—and his mockery of free jazz musicians as unschooled dilettantes—made it easy to mistake him for a conservative: a “black Stan Kenton,” in the dismissive phrase of Amiri Baraka (then LeRoi Jones), the high priest of black nationalist jazz critics. In fact, Mingus’s music was precisely the kind of vernacular modernism that Baraka had championed in his 1963 study Blues People, as well as a textbook illustration of his argument that black musical styles, however superficially divergent, were joined at the hip by a blues impulse that Baraka called “the changing same.” Like Baraka, Mingus viewed music as a surrogate church for black Americans. “James Brown was their church,” he told Goodman, “but they got a church in jazz, too. As long as there’s the blues.” Blues feeling saturates Mingus’s work: as Sy Johnson notes, “it’s always got its feet in the dirt.” His music immerses us in the blues rituals of black American life, while at the same time depicting them from a warm and playful distance. Given what we have been going through with an open white supremacist ensconced in the White House and refusing to leave, I thought it would be apt to open with Mingus’ “Fables of Faubus,” which was his take on the staunch segregationist governor of Alabama, Orval Faubus. In 1957, Faubus forced the use of federal troops to desegregate Little Rock, Arkansas’ Central High School.- Advertisement –
US President Donald Trump declared that catching the COVID-19 was a “blessing from God” that exposed him to experimental treatments he vowed would become free for all Americans, in a video address released on Wednesday.Trump, eager to revitalize his ailing re-election campaign two days after his release from Walter Reed military hospital, repeatedly stressed how well he felt so far in his recovery from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. It was unclear if he was still testing positive for the virus.”I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise,” Trump said, adding that his use of the medication from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc had allowed him to experience first-hand how effective it could be. Trump, who has been widely criticized for a slow response to the pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 Americans and putting his own staff at risk by discouraging the use of masks in the White House and on the campaign trail, also cited similar medication from Eli Lilly and Co.”I want to get for you what I got. And I’m going to make it free,” Trump said, at one point calling the unapproved medicine a “cure.”The timing of the video’s recording was unclear. Trump said in the message that he had gotten back to the White House “a day ago,” suggesting he was speaking on Tuesday. But Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said the video was recorded earlier on Wednesday.The video’s release followed White House assurances that the 74-year-old president was back at the Oval Office on Wednesday, getting briefed about economic stimulus talks and Hurricane Delta. A White House official said Trump entered the office from the Rose Garden to avoid walking through the White House hallways and possibly exposing others to the coronavirus.Chief of staff Mark Meadows, who briefed Trump in personal protective gear, said the White House was keeping access to the Oval Office extremely limited.Trump had been in his residence in the White House since his dramatic made-for-video return from Walter Reed in a helicopter on Monday night.Trump, who faces Democrat Joe Biden in the November election, has had no COVID-19 symptoms for the past 24 hours, his doctor Sean Conley said in a statement.”He’s now been fever-free for more than four days, symptom-free for over 24 hours, and has not needed, nor received, any supplemental oxygen since initial hospitalization,” Conley said.Despite his illness, Trump has been looking for ways to get his election message out and cut into Biden’s lead in battleground states, advisers said. His video message appeared to be a step in that direction.A speech to senior voters is being contemplated for Thursday, they said.Vice President Mike Pence’s debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City will take center stage of the campaign on Wednesday evening.Aides say Trump is impatient to get back on the campaign trail and insistent on going ahead with the next debate on Oct. 15 in Miami, but Biden said on Tuesday he will not participate if Trump is not virus-free.The new claim on free medications came the day after Trump abruptly ended talks with Democrats on a new round of stimulus for a pandemic-pounded economy, with both sides far apart on how much money to devote to a deal.Both Biden and the top Democrat in the US Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accused Trump of abandoning needy Americans.”The president turned his back on you,” Biden said in a Twitter post.With layoffs in key industries mounting by the day and threatening the fragile recovery, Trump late on Tuesday urged Congress to quickly pass $25 billion in funding for passenger airlines, $135 billion for small businesses and provide $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans.But White House officials on Wednesday downplayed the likelihood of any kind of stimulus being passed before the election.Trump’s drive to get Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court by the Republican-controlled Senate before the election also may be in doubt, since three Republican senators infected with the virus may not be able to vote.Topics :
Its investment portfolio returned 25.9%, mainly due to returns from its liability-driven investments (LDI) portfolio, with falling interest rates being the main driver.The fund’s non-LDI investments performed relatively well, and its allocation to growth assets returned 7% – with CIO Barry Kenneth highlighting global bond portfolios, equity and real estate as key contributors.The £22.6bn scheme generally measures performance against its liability benchmark, which the PPF outperformed by 2.5%, slightly down from the 2.9% in 2014.Chairman of the fund, Lady Barbara Judge, said the global macro environment remained a concern and warned that the PPF could not become “complacent”.“The global macro-economic environment and pension scheme funding remain volatile, which is reflected in the change in our probability of success,” she said.“We remain on track and committed to a prudent approach that strikes a balance between protecting compensation payments for current and future members.”At the end of March 2015, the PPF had the majority of its nearly £23bn in assets invested in debt instruments, which appreciated by more than £2.4bn in value over the course of the year.It also saw a significant increase in its directly held property assets, rising from £181m to £682m in 12 months. The inflows are likely to be a product of the PPF’s decision to build a physical hedging portfolio, rather than rely on derivatives.Kenneth told IPE last year that the amended strategy would see the so-called hybrid portfolio eventually account for 12.5% of assets, cash and bonds for 58%, alternatives 22.5% and equities 7%. The UK’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has seen its assets increase by 39% over the course of the last financial year, while its funding ratio rose to 115%.The lifeboat fund for pension schemes whose sponsoring employers have become insolvent saw 61 schemes join in the year to April 2015, bringing with them a total deficit of £322m (€440m).Despite this, the PPF managed to add 3 percentage points to its funding ratio.It did, however, see a 2-percentage-point drop in the probability of achieving self-sufficiency by 2030.
It all started with the biting of my nails. I couldn’t get to the core of the nail; sometimes,. Sometimes my fingers would bleed unknowingly because I bit too deep, too many times. One bad habit led to another until I realized that biting my nails was not that bad after all.I remember my neighbor’s eight year old daughter, Diamone, falling off a moving motorbike she had just gotten on. I ran to help the child up. She was lucky not to have been sitting fully on the bikemotorbike when it took off. After she was settled and no longer crying, I began checking her for any broken bones. It was then that I spotted specs of blood all over her blouse.“Oh My God, she is bleeding somewhere; there! There is blood on her shirt,” I heard the driver of the motorcycle shouting.Frantically I searched the child for any possible scrapes or bruises, but there weren’t any;. I couldn’t see where the blood was coming from. That left everyone standing in the crowd very confused. Bystanders began checking the ground where she had fallen, and still there was no clue where the blood came from.That was until I looked at my hands, my fingers. Each of my fingers was infected with puss and blood from the warts that had already burst. When the motorcyclist looked at my hands, he asked me what was wrong. He thought it was a medical condition.The biting of my nails was just a bad habit.Many months after my fingers began to look deformed due to my cannibalistic behavior my life took a down turn when I realized that I was not making enough money to survive. I was working as a professional, but my job could only cover school fees and some medical expenses. But my family and I were unable to gain weight – that meant we were not eating enough.I fell into depression, tried reaching out to my relatives, but they all had the same story as if they were reading sentences from the same book.“The country is hard, right now and I am not making much at work and there is a recession,” I was told over and over again. However, they said they would keep me in prayer. I tried to pray for myself instead and told them not to bother. God would listen to me because He knew my problem more than they did.I prayed and fasted and went to church religiously for a good six months. I stopped biting my nails and began twisting strands of my hair until I began noticing that bald spots were gradually appearing on my head. And then I met Square.Square was a carpenter in my community who came to help me fix a hole in my leaking roof. I noticed that he always smelled of smoke and had this creepy way of looking at me. He went from fixing a leak to becoming someone I could pour my heart out to. That was until the day he asked me to walk him to a secret location where he could go and “smoke.”Like a sleepwalker, I followed him. Not because I was curious, but I wanted to be free and okay about life just as he appeared to be. In a room filled with men and women who looked like society had easily pushed them off the face of the earth and this was the only place left for them to be, I saw some of the dirtiest, ugliest human beings I had ever seen. Drugs had consumed their time, interests and everything that could have helped get them a decent place to live.“This is my jue here oh, my old ma. She just came to sit with me small,” I was introduced by Square.They all seemed fine with the fact that I was clean, not interested in their taking drugs and timid at their stares. Somewhere during the hour I sat there, I felt a tap on my shoulder and when I turned to look at who was trying to get my attention, a wrapped up tube-like cigarette was pushed into my lips. I took a drag, inhaled as if I had been waiting for that moment.As months went by, so did my mind, my ability to work or even look after my family. I had stopped taking calls from concerned relatives who began hearing rumors that I was losing a lot of weight and looking very bad. I was inside a world that loved me, that soothed my thoughts and helped me accept what I could not change.My fingernails had become worse, though I had stopped biting them. The sores that were once there were now replaced with these odd looking colored warts and dry skin. My hands resembled rotten uncooked cow meat. My hair was no longer there, but the patches that remained had now become an imagemy children hated to see. I had become a total mess, but didn’t care; no one knew how much pain was inside of me, that I needed these drugs to keep me numb and isolated.I remained a drug addict for a complete five years. I had lost every pigment of my skin, body, shine, attractiveness and healthy look. I was mistaken for an AIDS patient rather than a drug addict.I didn’t care until one day I forgot about the food on the fire.It all started when I vaguely heard my children crying in the other room. I didn’t bother to check. Why? Because I had stopped caring about their cries for attention long ago. But I smelt smoke, a different type from the smell of my eyebrows burning whenever I took a hit, or the ‘Thai’ burning in its rolled up paper. This smoke smelled like rubber burning, but I was powerless to move. I sat there for what felt like ages until I felt some guys who all got high with me pulling me off my bench and dragging me into the fresh air. I was outside!In front of me stood a blaze of fire, it had engulfed the entire house. I could hear voices saying “there is their mother,” and another voice saying, “Chea, she looks bad. What is happening to her?” There were so many voices.It was then that I realized that I needed help and that is why I am sharing my story today.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)