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Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus (Double Bass)

Born: 22nd April 1922, Nogales, Arizona, U.S.

Died: 5th January 1979, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Nationality: American

Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz upright bassist, pianist, composer, bandleader, and author. A major proponent of collective improvisation, he is considered to be one of the greatest jazz musicians and composers in history, with a career spanning three decades and collaborations with other jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Herbie Hancock. Mingus's work ranged from advanced bebop and avant-garde jazz with small and midsize ensembles – pioneering the post-bop style on seminal recordings like Pithecanthropus Erectus (1956) and Mingus Ah Um (1959) – to progressive big band experiments such as The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (1963).

Mingus's compositions continue to be played by contemporary musicians ranging from the repertory bands Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, and Mingus Orchestra, to the high school students who play the charts and compete in the Charles Mingus High School Competition.

Further Reading: Charles Mingus

Recommended New Release, Charles Mingus - Changes: The Complete 1970s Atlantic Recordings

Celebrating the centenary of one of jazz’s most formidable personalities, this boxed set gathers all seven studio releases from the master’s overlooked final years as bandleader.

Classic Recordings, Ellington, Mingus & Roach - Money Jungle

One of the most exciting trio recordings in jazz, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach's Money Jungle is the sound of three super-sized egos thrashing out their differences in the studio.

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