Charles Mingus Jr. (April 22, 1922 – January 5, 1979)
…is probably best known for his unique fusing of the soulful feel of hard bop, black gospel, free jazz, and classical music. He is hard to pin down stylistically, as he constantly pushed the envelope, forever blazing trails into new and unchartered territory. Because of his emphasis on collective improvisation, he paid particular attention to how the band members interacted with each other. In assembling his bands, he looked at a musician’s skills, but their personalities were equally important to him.
Tijuana Moods | 1957
Ysabel’s Table Dance
Tijuana Gift Shop
Los Mariachis | The Street Musicians
A Colloquial Dream| Scenes in the City
Mingus was a virtuoso musician and a pioneer in double bass technique. He had a keen and uncanny ear for other virtuosos and often recruited young and little known artists, whom he used like puzzle pieces to assemble unconventional instrumental configurations.
Countless of Mingus’ band members later went on to their own impressive careers.
Shoes of the Fisherman’s Wife | 1959