Charles Mingus

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  • Blues & Roots (Mono)
  • Mingus Ah Um (Legacy Edition)

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About Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus was one of the most important figures in jazz and popular music over the course of the 20th century. Born in 1922 in Nogales, Arizona, Mingus was raised in Watts, California, and studied double bass and composition with the esteemed Herman Reinshagen and Lloyd Reese. From there, Mingus spent most of the ‘40s touring with legendary artists such as Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, and Lionel Hampton. It wasn’t until the ‘50s, though, that Mingus’ solo career truly began to skyrocket, bringing avant-garde exercises to the straight-ahead formula of the popular bebop subgenre. After settling down in New York, he began working with other jazz players who would go on to write the genre’s history beside him: Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, and more. Mingus was at his creative peak in the ‘60s, when he released a number of groundbreaking albums that pushed the boundaries of jazz into new territory, with outstanding testaments to Black culture like 1963’s The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and 1964’s Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus. Though he died far too young, at the age of 56, he remained one of jazz’s most accomplished songwriters, releasing 51 albums between 1949 and 1977.

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