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Charles Mingus


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Los Angeles, United States (1922 – 1979)

Charles Mingus (22nd April 1922 – 5th January 1979) was an American bassist, composer, bandleader, and occasional pianist from Los Angeles. He was also known for his activism against racial injustice.

Mingus’ legacy is notable: he is ranked among the finest composers and performers in jazz, and recorded many highly regarded albums. Dozens of musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. His songs - though melodic and distinctive - are not often recorded by later musicians, due in part to their unconventional nature. Mingus was also influential and creative as a bandleader, recruiting talented and sometimes little-known artists whom he assembled into unconventional and revealing configurations.

Nearly as well known as his ambitious music was Mingus’ often fearsome temperament, which earned him the nickname “The Angry Man of Jazz”. His refusal to compromise his musical integrity led to many onstage explosions, though it has been argued that his temper also grew from a need to vent frustration. Ironically, a perfect show could irritate him by closing this outlet.

Mingus was prone to depression. He tended to have brief periods of extreme creative activity, intermixed with fairly long periods of greatly decreased output.


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  • pteronophobic

    V "Mingus at Antibes" is one of the greatest live albums ever IMO. Also try "Cornell 1964" and "The Great Concert of Charles Mingus".

    15 Jul 7:13pm Reply
  • Wotsthedeal

    Any tips on where to start off with his live stuff?

    13 Jul 4:28pm Reply
  • acid_porno

    'Let My Children Hear Music' is probably the best album of all time.

    21 Jun 2:51pm Reply
  • Keolia


    2 Jun 4:05am Reply
  • Kyonil


    21 Apr 8:35am Reply
  • jessyrocker

    Love this Music

    13 Apr 6:30am Reply
  • IamFlood

    Everything they say about The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is true.

    12 Apr 8:16pm Reply
  • MisterJunior

    One of the giants of jazz. This guy innovated and pioneered a number of ideas and techniques that advanced the music from a compositional, improvistional and production/engineering standpoint. Oh, and he also developed the foundation upon which modern bass playing stands. He also made many great records beyond Mingus Ah Um and The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. Tijuana Moods, Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus, Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus, The Clown, Blues and Roots, Mingus Dynasty and especially Pithecanthropus Erectus are works of great power and genius. Mingus has to be on the short list of the most important jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

    14 Jan 11:45am Reply
  • jpak

    One of my favorites! Music well advanced for his time especially the Atlantic 50s

    21 Nov 2014 Reply
  • byronever

    The angry man of jazz!!!Salud!

    11 Nov 2014 Reply
  • innercities

    Man those Flamenco parts in "Black Saint..." really sound like nothing a dancing class housewife would dance to, but rather very brooding and urban

    20 Oct 2014 Reply
  • PeaceloveK

    Mingus is great...That' s all))

    19 Oct 2014 Reply
  • voidtraveller

    Without any question; a MAN with personality!!!! Beneath the underdog.

    5 Oct 2014 Reply
  • OcellatedGod

    An ugly temper doesn't make a bad person.

    16 Sep 2014 Reply
  • jazzthieve

    Great guy? Great artist sure, but he wasn't exactly known for being a great guy, in fact quite the opposite.

    4 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Cat_007

    Great guy...

    16 Aug 2014 Reply
  • TamaTheOriginal

    I've just fallen in love with this sick cold war era jazz.

    13 Jul 2014 Reply
  • JuniorWaldorf


    9 Jul 2014 Reply
  • ColonelTheSlav

    Photographers are very anal about their work.

    12 Jun 2014 Reply
  • WaldoJeffers_X

    Why the fuck those photos are unavailable?? I can understand King Crimson's because of Fripp but why Charles Mingus?

    23 May 2014 Reply
  • All 676 shouts