Article by Abe Mamet; art by Alayna Altman
When I was nine, my eyes opened. Or rather, my iPod’s pre-set alarm clock woke me up from a bad nap. Just in time for dinner, yet my thoughts were ripped quickly and terrifyingly from my rumbling stomach as I realized I’d mistakenly queued my brother’s jazz playlist as my alarm instead of my AC/DC collection. What woke me, then, was not Bon Scott’s wailing on “Highway to Hell,” but the hellfire and brimstone erupting from a foreign baritone sax opening Charles Mingus’s “Moanin’.” Soon, more than my eyes opened. I realized that the music flooding my tiny closet of a room was different than any other music I’d ever heard. This song, I quickly realized, was Mingus’s tribute to freedom, and class was in session.