Sunday, August 3, 2008

Charles Mingus, The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (Impulse)

So where does travelling in wine take us today? Sacred profanity or the profane sacrament? Is the path to freedom righteous or leftist? When she walked into church he didn't know what to make of her. Tuba swinging right and left, like the trombone and trumpet throbbing through the right ear, saxes dropping out of left channel. There but for all gods and devils to see. This reminded him of story about something that might have happened to him if he could only remember. Walked into some dark bodega out of the Nogales desert sun, felt like New Orleans but it was really Madrid circa 1887, casks of Jerez stacked up behind the bar and the tender scratching numbers with chalk into the bar. Back then she was a poor sevillana rolling cigarros in burled brown tobacco leaves set out in the morning dew and left out to dry in the baking Spanish sun. How someday the landlord would be knocked down and thrown to hell. But for today the air thickened with the smoke and sherry, and she got up on the table. Tchaikovsky piped through the jukebox and then the jazzfreaks really went crazy, all jitterbugs and hustles and lindyhopsugarplumfairies prancing across their cerebella. Somehow, he never could quite figure this out, it became easier to see what he was doing in this world, as if he had just stepped outside of himself and could see how everyone else saw him. She never did, though, even as this dark corner of the world, illuminated by sunrays through beads of stained glass. Suddenly he awoke, and Jaki Byard told him how they had just performed his dream the night before, as a ballet in six acts, of love, pain, and passioned revolt, then Farewell, My Beloved, 'til it's Freedom Day.

Suggested Wine Pairing: For those travelers among us, only the best will suffice: MINGUS and Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape. Some kind of dance where the stony pebbles don't outweigh the strong note of tobacco, with that smooth texture of bull's blood. This would be, for instance, the Chante Cigale Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape 2005.

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