Friday, January 12, 2007


I gotta tell you, I watched Triumph of the Underdog tonight, as provided by the wonderful George From Work--a biography about the great Charles Mingus and, as much of a fan and appreciator of his work as I was before, I'm sevenfold the fan now. Let's just put it this way, he was a badass in all aspects of music, culture, politics, poetry and art. I was listening to Chet Baker this morning, but skipped right to the "m's" tonight for Mingus. Couldn't help it because the dude was so incredibly dope.

When I was a kid, one of my father's (and aunt's) students handed me a copy of Charles Mingus' Epitaph on double cassette citing that, "One day, you'll get it." It wasn't until about ten years later that I would "get it." That would mean coming to the realization that Charles Mingus is quite possibly the most spectacular, innovative, daring and complex composers of the 20th century. Hands down. If you don't hold this as the absolute truth, you're in the dark to his contributions to not only jazz, but to music as we know it today. I will provide you a few milestone recordings so you can educate yourself and be more knowledgable to the realm, the mystery, the legacy that is Charles Mingus. And now, a few of my favorite recordings, most of which are live recordings.

Right Now: Live at the Jazz Workshop

Mingus at Carnegie Hall

Mingus in Europe

Charles Mingus and Friends in Concert


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