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Charles Mingus



Charles Mingus Jr. (April 22, 1922 - January 5, 1979) was an American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader. His compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop, drawing heavily from black gospel music and blues, while sometimes containing elements of Third Stream, free jazz, and classical music. He once cited Duke Ellington and church as his main influences. Mingus espoused collective improvisation, similar to the old New Orleans jazz parades, paying particular attention to how each band member interacted with the group as a whole. In creating his bands, he looked not only at the skills of the available musicians, but also their personalities. Many musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. He recruited talented and sometimes little-known artists, whom he utilized to assemble unconventional instrumental configurations. As a performer, Mingus was a pioneer in double bass technique, widely recognized as one of the instrument's most...

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Sep 29, 2016. 9:06am
Stu recommended this
Aug 6, 2009. 12:03pm
Swingwombat recommended this


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On Apr 13, 2011. 10:30am
Christopher Lynch said

The enigmatic Mingus stands tall today as one of America's great composers, band leaders, innovators and for having a unique fat bass sound. His life described in "Beneath The Underdog", is not only about his own struggles, but also about the sheer fight for dignified survival so many of his people endured. (Anybody interested in jazz or American social history should read this book.) Mingus teamwork with Danny Richmond on drums is some of the finest in jazz. He fostered other important talents in his bands too, incuding greats like 'Captain' John Handy. So many compliments could be heaped upon Charles Mingus; I particularly adore his compositions such as "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", "Better Git It In YOur Soul" and "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting".
Note: Another book relating to African-American history worth reading is "Go Tell It On A Mountain", by the insightful James Baldwin. Another top recommendation Swingwombat!

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