Happy Birthday: Charles Mingus
Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the most significant individuals in the history of jazz: Charles Mingus, a man who played bass, played piano, and changed music forever.
Born in 1922, Mingus started his musical education at church, but beyond the voices of the choir, he also quickly fell in love with the sounds of Duke Ellington after hearing him on the radio for the first time when he was eight years old. After studying double bass and composition with H. Rheinshagen and Lloyd Reese, Mingus began touring with folks like Kid Ory, Lionel Hampton, and Louis Armongstrong in the 1940s, and the ‘50s found him in the company of – among others – Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Art Tatum, and the man who got him into jazz in the first place, the aforementioned Duke Ellington. By the ‘60s rolled around, however, Mingus was well into his solo career, and it was a career that would revolutionize music forever.
We’ve put together a playlist which offers a look – and a listen – into Mingus’s recorded output for Atlantic Records. What better way to celebrate the day than by hitting “play”?