Blue Notes

UPDATE: Charles Mingus: A Beginner's Guide to the Late Jazz Great

UPDATE (April 27, 11:25 a.m.): Charles Mingus was not trained as the New York Philharmonic's principal bassist, but was trained by the orchestra's Herman Reinschagen.

True story: once, we were entertaining some people at home and my rat terrier, Mingus, got loose and began mingling with the guests. Because he's an insufferable attention-seeker and since people are nice and tend not to be threatened by terriers, a woman petted him and asked what his name was.

I told her and she said, "Oh, yeah, like the kid from Boy Meets World. Is there another one somewhere named Topanga?"

The woman was asked to leave my home immediately.

Okay, that last bit isn't true. But I did have to momentarily shelve my jazz snobbery and explain that 1) the fictional TV nerd's name was actually Minkus; and 2) my dog was named in honor of one of jazz's geniuses, Charles Mingus.

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Jesse’s been writing for the Houston Press since 2013. His work has appeared elsewhere, notably on the desk of the English teacher of his high school girlfriend, Tish. The teacher recognized Jesse’s writing and gave Tish a failing grade for the essay. Tish and Jesse celebrated their 33rd anniversary as a couple in October.