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Fables of Faubus

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Steve Killingsworth, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. About a month ago, I purchased my first Mingus CD (Mingus Ah Um). The more I listen to it the more incredible it sounds.

    Where can I get a version of "Fables of Faubus" with the lyrics? I teach history and love to include historically significant music in my instruction. Kids have heard Dylan, CCR, etc. but mention Mingus and they would probably ask if that was some disease "back in the day."

    Also are there any more jazz tunes that have social commentary? Most of my students (college and high school) listen to one of three kinds of music (country, alternative, hip hop rap crap) and I would like for them to hear music from the other side of the soundtracks.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Most of the live versions (there are many) have the lyrics as does the studio version on "Mingus Presents Mingus" (Candid).
  3. It's also on the Ken Burn's "Best of" CD.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Yeah, some Jazz and other things where more engaged then than nowdays, I guess the kids should learn it. Anyway, the Hal Leonard Play-along with John Hicks on piano is a great complement of that record: link
  5. This is definitely tangential to the jazz focus, but I would promote the teaching of Gil Scott Heron as a) a predecessor to rap and b) scathing social commentary within a pretty funky context.
  6. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    When you say tunes with a social message, do you only mean through lyrics?
    If so, check out Archie Shepp (esp. the one about Malcom X), various Albert Ayler and Sunny Murray tracks with leroi Jones doing vocals, Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln "Bitter Suite" and "Freedom Now", Lost Poets (not always jazz as such, but still important), Nina Simeone on loads of tunes (Missisipi Goddamn/Four Women/loads more), Billy Holiday singing Strange Fruit, I'm sure I can think of more if you'd like.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    In the Mingus "More than a Play Along" mentioned, it has the following :

    "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 Clan!
    Name me someone who's ridculous, Dannie (drummer)
    Governor Faubus
    Why is he so sick and ridiculous
    He won't permit integrated schools
    Then he's a fool."

    I would suggest Mose Allison - in particular "Everybody's crying Mercy" (but they don't know the meaning of the word).

    I heard a London-based Jazz group sing this song, the day war was declared on Iraq and it was still incredibly relevant and poignant!! :meh:

  8. bass_means_LOW


    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    Handy claims that Miles walked into the club when Mingus was playing "Better Get It In Your Soul" and wouldn't you know it that the same bass ostinato showed up on Miles' album later on; the tune, "All Blues."
    Also Mingus would change the name of his tune, "Red Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Orange" about every night; i.e., "If Sigmund Freud's Mother........"
    I read that in 1976, Mingus was at an all-time low in his 'career.' He couldn't get a record contract, but he had all these great compositions that he wanted out of the bag, so he spread the rumour that he had terminal cancer. Well, everybody then wanted to record Mingus' last album! I think that was the album, "Mingus Moves."
  9. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    I just picked up copies of Changes I and Changes II, mainly for the recording of For Harry Carney. I think these were both recorded in the early to mid- '70s. Absolutely brilliant stuff.
  10. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    YES! and you got shamefully underrated trumpeter and music educator Marcus Belgrave on it.
  11. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    This doesn't really have much to do with the question...

    ...but Governor Faubus' son was my guitar player on a Cruise Ship gig for awhile.
    Let me tell you, the apple didn't fall far from the tree!
    This guy had some truely...uh...interesting ideas on the races (not cars either).
    He had a real bad "anger managment" problem too (wouldn't you?).

    He had to go.
  12. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Yeah, Marcus Belgrave! He does some beautiful work on Robert Hurst's solo CD.
  13. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I just hooked up with a pianist who likes and plays free jazz type music. She's got a drummer so it's a trio, and to my surprize, it feels really good doing the far out thang. Not sure if it's as nice to listen as to play... Now to get to the point, last time she pulled out an Ornette Coleman theme, War Orphans: very nice tune, I was not sure if I've heard it before or what. Turns out it's from Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra album. It's a really great record, not the easiest to listened to for untrained ears, but it definitely carry a social commentary. Later on Charlie Haden and Carla Bley have made a pretty good sequel of that album, the Ballad of the Fallen, with the same usual suspects on the band stand. Steve, you could give those CDs a try.
  14. I'm not familiar with the tune but will check it out. Thanks for the information Sir Lawrence.
  15. struteejury


    Feb 2, 2006
    Fables of Faubus is one of my favorite songs. The lyrics were originally cencored by Columbia records, so they're hard to find on recordings. You can hear them in the quietly in the background of the live "Revenge" album, but I did a lot of searching and finally found a good version where the lyrics are sung. The album is called "Presents Charles Mingus" and the title is "Original Faubus Fables." Hope this helps.
  16. OLIVIER: If you liked playing "War Orphans", you might also wanna check Bobo Stenson´s ECM album. Grrreat stuff, other than the title tune, too.

  17. I saw a news report this past weekend that showed the daughter of Ross Barnett, governor of Mississippi in the '60s who attempted to deny admission for James Meridith to attend Ole Miss, shocked many and taught at an inner city school in Jackson, Miss. that was eventually an all black school. I'm glad there's hope for some.

  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Jeez, I'm surprised to see guys talking about Marcus Belgrave on here! I saw him play with a couple other guys at a concert in Kingston almost two years ago, and he was awesome! What a marvelous performer, and a really, really nice guy. He and Charlie somethingorother -- I feel bad for not remembering his whole name -- were signing CDs after the concert. I got Marcus to sign mine, and he asked if I played...I told him yeah, I played bass. He looked up at me, grinned this huge grin, and said "You look like a bass player -- big guy..." (I am of average height, but Marcus is not a tall man!) and signed the CD.

    It was a really short encounter, but I'll remember it all my life -- it was probably my first real live jazz concert. Punctuated between tunes was the Kingston Symphony playing Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," which was also my first exposure to live classical music and the Rite of Spring in general, which I now have on my computer.

    That said, it seems really weird to think of Marcus, who does such amazing trad jazz like in the performance and on the CD I have (Marcus&Charlie) playing Mingus though! I'll definitely have to pick up Changes I and II.
  19. Man, its cool to hear people talking about Marcus Belgrave. He was my combo teacher (Vincent York)'s mentor and friend when Vincent first came up here to Ann Arbor from New Owlns. Mr Belgrave plays some ridiculous stuff on Vincents CD "Blending Forces." Unfortunately Vincent is also horribly underrecorded.
  20. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    I don't hear "All Blues" coming from "Git Hit" - thats weird. And I never heard about the rumor. He DID have undiagnosed ALS in 1976, but he also had a record deal with Atlantic. And "Mingus Moves" was recorded in 1973.

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