Charles Mingus: Eulogy for Rudy Williams
Eulogy for Rudy Williams
Charles Mingus (bass)
Jazz Composers Workshop (Savoy Jazz 17189)
George Barrow (baritone sax); Rudy Nichols (drums).
Composed by Charles Mingus.
Recorded: Hackensack, NJ; October 31, 1954
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
A tribute to the late saxophonist of the Savoy Sultans, drowned shortly before the session in a summer swimming accident, “Eulogy for Rudy Williams” is an atmospheric masterpiece. The structure balances looseness and control; it’s a pleasure to hear new thematic material emerge mid-performance. LaPorta and Macero’s high-register harmonies contribute a haunting clarinet-like effect, arcing in hazy backgrounds for the leader’s featured playing. Barrow’s insistent accompaniment to the bass solos prefigures the inexorable opening strain of “Pithecanthropus Erectus,” a landmark Mingus composition recorded 15 months later.
Reviewer: Joe Petrucelli