Don’t Be Afraid, the Clown’s Afraid Too – Charles Mingus

I have already blogged about my Halloween DJ playlist but one of the creepiest tunes I’ve ever heard is not a tune anyone is ever going to play at a Halloween gig in Whelan’s! It comes from jazz legend Charles Mingus, a double-bass player, composer and bandleader who combined elements of be-bop, gospel and blues to create an influential sound.

The track is called ‘Don’t Be Afraid, The Clown’s Afraid Too’ and it comes from the album Let My Children Hear Music. The beginning of the track contains weird soundtrack effects, discords and a wailing trumpet and then heads into more familiar swinging big band territory before giving in to a chaotic horn section that sometimes reprises a vaudevillian circus theme and then descends into madness. It’s both disquieting and hilarious.

Of course there’s no video for the track as it was released in 1972 but here’s the original tune and if you’re creative you can make your own visuals to accompany it!

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