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Charles Mingus
bass, piano, composer, band leader: postbop, early free

Besides being one of the best bass players in jazz history, Mingus' blending of styles in his compositions rank him as an innovator in jazz composing. His compositions ranged from jamming blues for small bands that have influenced rock musicians to pieces for large bands that dabbled in classical music. Some of his most famous songs include, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,' Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting' and 'Orange Was the Color of Her Dress.' His arrangements were always cutting edge, rivaled in genius only by Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

During his long career he played with all the greats, including Lionel Hampton, Ellington, Stan Getz, Art Tatum and Bud Powell. Mingus also played a role in the bebop revolution and was part of the historic Massey Hall concert in 1953, which featured Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Powell and Max Roach. His wife has help set up a web site dedicated to his music.

choice cuts:

Mingus at Antibes, 1960, Atlantic
Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, 1963, MCA
Mingus, Ah Um, 1959, Columbia