It’s Jazz Appreciation Month on KUVO Jazz

Today we are highlighting one of the greatest songs in jazz Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

When Charlie speaks of Lester

You know someone great has gone

The sweetest swinging music man

Had a Porky Pig hat on

A bright star

In a dark age

“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” is a jazz instrumental piece composed by the bassist Charles Mingus. The song was written as a tribute to the late jazz saxophonist Lester Young, who was known for wearing a distinctive pork pie hat. Mingus was deeply affected by Young’s death and wanted to honor him with a musical tribute.

Originally recorded by Mingus on his 1959 album “Mingus Ah Um” and has since become one of his most well-known and revered compositions. The track features an emotive saxophone melody played by the legendary saxophonist John Handy, with Mingus on bass, Booker Ervin on tenor saxophone, Shafi Hadi on alto saxophone, and Jimmy Knepper on trombone.

“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” has become a jazz standard, and many other musicians have covered the tune in their own interpretations.

Lester Young: How to Make a Pork Pie Hat (newspaper article, 1948)

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