Charles Mingus: Eulogy for Rudy Williams


Eulogy for Rudy Williams



Jazz Composers Workshop (Savoy Jazz 17189)

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Charles Mingus (bass), John LaPorta (alto sax), Teo Macero (tenor sax), Mal Waldron (piano),

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

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