Given Name: Charles Mingus, Jr.
Nickname: "The Angry Man of Jazz"
Instruments: Double bass, Piano, Cello, Trombone
Occupations: Bassist, Composer, Bandleader
Charles Mingus, Jr. was born April 22, 1922 in
US Army Base,
Charles Mingus, Jr. was an African American jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and
civil rights activist. Although he was born in Nogales, Arizona, Mingus grew up in the
Watts area of Los Angeles, California. His mother allowed only church-related music
in their home, but Mingus developed an early love for jazz, especially the music of Duke
Ellington. Mingus gained a reputation as somewhat of a bass genius. His hot and soulful
music drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements from
free jazz and classical music. He toured with Louis Armstrong in 1943; then played with
Lionel Hampton's band in the late 1940s; Hampton performed and recorded several of
Mingus' pieces. Mingus was briefly a member of Duke Ellington's band in 1953, but his
notarious temper led to him being one of the few musicians personally fired by Ellington.
Nearly as well known as his ambitious music was Mingus' often feared temperament,
which earned him the nickname "The Angry Man of Jazz." By the mid-1970s, Mingus'
bass technique began to suffer as he struggled with Lou Gehrig's disease. His once
formidable bass technique suffered, until he could no longer play the instrument. He
continued composing, however, and supervised a number of recordings before his death.
Charles Mingus, Jr. died January 5, 1979 at age 56 in Cuernavaca, Mexico
Cause of Death: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, popularly known as Lou Gehrig's disease
Mr. Mingus' ashes were scattered in the Ganges River
V. KAY JAMES McCRIMON
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the copyright to these recordings. These videos are for historical and educational purposes only.