The records, however, are often regarded as among the finest live jazz recordings. , Mingus gained a reputation as a bass prodigy. 1959, Mingus contributed most of the music for, 1961, Mingus appeared as a bassist and actor in the British film, 1968, Thomas Reichman directed the documentary, This page was last edited on 28 October 2020, at 14:38. Mingus soon found himself at the forefront of the avant-garde. This site exists to maintain the historical record and archival materials of one of America’s greatest composers, and to promote Mingus music being played today. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. By the mid-1970s, Mingus was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His first major professional job was playing with former Ellington clarinetist Barney Bigard.
 Throughout much of his career, he played a bass made in 1927 by the German maker Ernst Heinrich Roth. Although he wrote his first concert piece, "Half-Mast Inhibition," when he was seventeen years old, it was not recorded until twenty years later by a 22-piece orchestra with Gunther Schuller conducting. He was confined to a wheelchair, and although he was no longer able to write music on paper or compose at the piano, his last works were sung into a tape recorder. Another album from this period, The Clown (1957 also on Atlantic Records), the title track of which features narration by humorist Jean Shepherd, was the first to feature drummer Dannie Richmond, who remained his preferred drummer until Mingus's death in 1979. Mingus considered Parker the greatest genius and innovator in jazz history, but he had a love-hate relationship with Parker's legacy. His maternal grandfather was a Chinese British subject from Hong Kong, and his maternal grandmother was an African-American from the southern United States. "The Library of Congress purchased the Charles Mingus Collection, a major acquisition, in 1993; this included autographed manuscripts, photographs, literary manuscripts, correspondence, and tape recordings of interviews, broadcasts, recording sessions, and Mingus composing at the piano. As a bassist, Mingus was a powerhouse of technical command and invention; he was always more effective as a soloist than as an accompanist or sideman. Print. Charles Mingus Jr. (April 22, 1922 – January 5, 1979) was an American jazz double bassist, pianist, composer and bandleader. In the early 1950s he formed his own record label and the Jazz Composer’s Workshop, a musicians’ cooperative, in an attempt to circumvent the commercialism of the music industry. From the 1960's until his death in 1979 at age 56, Mingus remained in the forefront of American music. Mingus's autobiography also serves as an insight into his psyche, as well as his attitudes about race and society. DEVOTED TO THE WORK OF JAZZ COMPOSER AND BASSIST CHARLES MINGUS. Duke Ellington performed The Clown, with Ellington reading Jean Shepherd's narration.
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