Sad clown? Funny clown? Evil clown? It’s unclear what the great Jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus and designer Marvin Israel were after with this cover. Perhaps it’s crappy clown thrown out of the circus for lazy makeup application. Beats the hell outta me.
“The Clown” tells the story of a clown “who tried to please people like most jazz musicians do, but whom nobody liked until he was dead. My version of the story ended with his blowing his brains out with the people laughing and finally being pleased because they thought it was part of the act. I liked the way Jean changed the ending; leaves it more up to the listener.”
That sums up my attitude about clowns. They creep me out. The Jean Mingus refers to is Jean Shepherd a writer/actor/radio and tv personality who is best known for A Christmas Story. Holy leg lamp, Batman.
Here’s the whole damn album: