Charles Mingus

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Mingus, Charles

Mingus, Charles (mĭngˈgəs), 1922–79, American jazz musician, b. Nogales, Ariz. Mingus was a bassist, pianist, bandleader, composer, and vocalist. He was one of the most important jazz composers of the 20th cent. and an influence on a broad spectrum of musicians. A charismatic, demanding, and sometimes violent risk-taker, Mingus created works with unconventional structures and innovative harmonies. In the 1950s and 60s he led groups noted for their collective improvisations, loose rhythms, and high energy. At various times in his career he played with Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Charlie Parker, and Duke Ellington, to whom he dedicated his Open Letter to Duke. He organized his first group, a sextet, in 1945, and later (1955) formed the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop, a group that brought him worldwide acclaim. His compositions include the ambitious Epitaph, first performed in 1989; Fables of Faubus; Better Git It in Your Soul; and Sue's Changes.


See his autobiography, Beneath the Underdog (1971); biographies by B. Priestly (1982) and G. Santoro (2000).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Mingus, Charles

(1922–79) jazz musician; born in Nogales, Ariz. He was a virtuoso bassist and innovative composer who worked as a sideman with Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, and Red Norvo between 1941 and 1953. He formed his first band in 1954 and led large and small ensembles, which he called Jazz Workshops, thereafter. He was a passionate campaigner for civil rights. His autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, was published in 1971.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
singer Al Jarreau, the crowd perked up at the mention of the next track, Ennio Morricone's film soundtrack number "Cinema Paradiso (Love Theme)." Sticking with the mellow theme, the cover of Charles Mingus' "Boogie Stop Shuffle" began with only Eastwood onstage, leading in the iconic bass line, before the rest of the band rejoined him to jazz up the performance.
6) owing to the sizeable amount of new material that has emerged on Mingus since the appearance of Gene Santoro's biography (Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus [New York: Oxford University Press, 2000]).
"Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance'' explores the life of the African-American artists who helped shaped the period, including poets Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay, painter Aaron Douglas and musicians Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus. "Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance'' will be performed at 11:30 a.m.
Favourite music artist...Bob Dylan (above) and Charles Mingus. Some people think that jazz is inaccessible, but Mingus is a great place to start.
In the book, Johnson describes the challenges that the 85 year old Jordan has faced in her life, from her early years in a Pennsylvania coal mining town to her rise as a bebop singer in Detroit and New York City during the 1950s, then rising to become a recording artist and performer under the influence of jazz giants such as Charlie Parker, George Russell, Lennie Tristano, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk.
In this section we see transcription excerpts from one of his most noteworthy projects, the trio album Money Jungle with drummer Max Roach and bassist Charles Mingus.
MILES Davis, Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Sam Rivers, Janis Joplin, Quincy Jones, Van Morrison, Charles Mingus, Anthony Braxton, King Curtis, Nina Simone, Max Roach, Nancy Wilson, Andrew White, Carmen McRae, Count Basie - what's the connection?
It wasn't particularly good with metal (Legions by Artillery, Obsideo by Pestilence) or with Jazz (Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus) because it pushes both the highs and mids into one indistinguishable mush.
DURING his lifetime, bassist and composer Charles Mingus struggled with the challenge of airing his more ambitiouslyscaled pieces.
and the day Charles Mingus died fifty-seven whales spread
James Joyce's mastery of the written word might have an equal in Charles Mingus's skill with conversation.