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Charlie “Mingus”

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,

Nogales, Arizona

 

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

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DISCLAIMER: I do not own the copyright to these recordings. These videos are for historical and educational purposes only.