Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hats Off

"When Charlie speaks of Lester, you know someone great has gone...
The sweetest swingin´ music man, had a Porkie Pig hat on..."

Here´s three versions of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, the immortal ´59 tribute to recently deceased tenor great Lester ´Pres´ Young by ´angry man of jazz´ Charles Mingus. The bassist´s original, which became a jazz standard over the years, simply flows and flows.

In ´68 British folk experimentalists Pentangle - featuring the dual guitar wizardry of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn - tackled the song with a totally different, all-acoustic approach. It remained jazz somehow though.

And Joni Mitchell even set Goodbye Pork Pie Hat to words in ´78 when she was collaborating with Mingus in what proved to be the last months of his life. "We came up from the subway, on the music midnight makes, to Charlie's bass and Lester's saxophone, in taxi horns and brakes..." Oh yes.

Charles Mingus - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat MP3
Pentangle - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat MP3
Joni Mitchell - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat MP3

And as a bonus, here´s Lester Young (1909-1959) himself. All dig the Pres.

Lester Young - Love Me Or Leave Me MP3
Lester Young - Red Boy Blues MP3
Lester Young - Gypsy In My Soul MP3


Curt Shannon said...

Great stuff! Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Aw, man, what a great tune. I'd never heard the Pentangle version before. It's pretty damn good.