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Charles Mingus has left a profound impact on the world of jazz. His career began in the early 1940s as a bassist in the Los Angeles area. As an instrumentalist his skill was unmatched. He quickly gained a national reputation that afforded him the opportunity to work with early jazz greats, such as Louis Armstrong and Kid Ory, contemporaries such as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, and modern stars such as John Faddis and Toshiko Akioshi. In addition to his ability as a bassist, Mingus was a prolific composer. His creative output is often compared to the music of Duke Ellington. He continued to write music until he fell victim to Lou Gehrigs disease in 1979. Through the efforts of his widow, Susan Graham Mingus, his music is still performed today.
This paper is an examination of Mingus life and music through his life, the people with whom he was acquainted, and the music that he was a part of. Among the topics explored are individuals who had an impact on his life such as Simon Rodia, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Britt Woodman and Buddy Collette. It will also illuminate Mingus philosophical beliefs by examining his experiences with Christianity and Hinduism. Finally, the paper systematically discusses parts of his career including his early recordings in rhythm and blues, big band, and small ensemble works, and examines his compositional style in order to facilitate a greater understanding of the origins of his later works.
Date07 July 2006
CreatorsHorton, Ernest Aaron
ContributorsMathew Rosenblum, Dr. Nathan Davis, Dr. Akin Euba
PublisherUniversity of Pittsburgh
Source SetsUniversity of Pittsburgh
Detected LanguageEnglish
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