Sunday, March 6, 2011
ALONZO LEVISTER-MANHATTAN MONODRAMA 1956
FROM WIKIPEDIA-THE DEFINITION OF MONODRAMA:"a drama acted or designed to be acted by a single person. The term may also refer to a dramatic representation of what passes in an individual mind, as well as to a musical drama for a solo performer. Everything one witnesses on stage is portrayed from the mental state of the given protagonist."
THE WIKIPEDIA ENTRY FOR ALONZO LEVISTER:"Alonzo Levister (born November 1, 1925 in Greenwich, Connecticut) was a Third Stream composer and pianist. He is most known for his debut album Manhattan Melodrama (sic), which came out in 1956. It included Louis Mucci, John LaPorta, and Teddy Charles"
THIS IS THE RAREST LP ON MINGUS' LABEL-DEBUT RECORDS-AND ONE OF THE MOST TRANSCENDENT ALBUMS I'VE EVER HEARD.I'M NOT INCLINED TO SPEAK ON IT IN FANCY MUSICAL TERMS.I HATE THAT SHIT.BUT AFTER COUNTLESS HOURS OF LISTENING TO MUSIC WHEN YOU HEAR SOMETHING UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE COME ACROSS BEFORE.WELL,THAT'S A SPECIAL RECORD.THIS IS A JAZZ OPERA,A MONODRAMATIC BALLET OF LEVISTER'S MENTAL STATE AT THE TIME OF COMPOSITION AND RECORDING.I WOULD'VE GIVEN ANYTHING TO HAVE SEEN THIS PERFORMED LIVE.IF IT EVER WAS...IT DOESN'T HAVE SONGS SO MUCH AS MOVEMENTS-LIKE A CLASSICAL PIECE-AND THE INSTRUMENTATION ISN'T REALLY WHAT WAS TYPICAL OF JAZZ IN THAT ERA AT ALL.I REALLY HAVE A HARD TIME COMPARING IT TO ANYTHING.BUT IT DOES FEEL A LITTLE LIKE "THE BLACK SAINT AND THE SINNER LADY"...SORT OF...BUT NOT REALLY...YOU SHOULD TAKE A MINUTE AND LISTEN TO THIS.YOU'LL PROBABLY NEVER FIND A COPY OF IT,IT NEVER WAS PRESSED ON CD,I DON'T THINK IT'S EVER BEEN ON EBAY AND INFORMATION ABOUT IT ONLINE IS PRETTY MUCH NON-EXISTANT.I DON'T EVEN THINK IT WAS INCLUDED IN THE DEBUT RECORDS BOX SET....