Why this tune?
I have been working with the International Center for Journalists for several years on projects supporting independent journalism and countering disinformation. When I heard a government official talk about “Alternative Facts” on the news, that moved me off the couch and to the piano to start writing a response. I call this process “turning indignation into inspiration.” I had Charles Mingus’ “Fables of Faubus” in my head, and hope the tune managed to capture some of his spirit and energy.
I chose to not write any lyrics for this tune, to keep the focus on the overall mood instead of specific subject matter. I thought “Faubus” was also an instrumental, but learned only recently that Mingus did write lyrics for his tune, which Columbia refused to include on the original recording.
Dig this detail!
Lionel Lyles contributed a spectacular solo in the recording of this tune on my album Making Up For Lost Time. He then paid me the compliment of recording his own arrangement of the tune on his album Simplistically Complex in 2019. I encourage you to check out his version (below) and the whole album. I’m always thrilled to hear other musicians interpret my tunes.
I would appreciate donations to support Tunes On Tuesday and my other projects!
Check it out!
from Making Up For Lost Time: Lionel Lyles, tenor sax, Mark Saltman, bass, Paul Jung, drums
from Simplistically Complex, by the Lionel Lyles Quintet
Charles Mingus, “Fables of Faubus”
“Faubus” with the lyrics