5 January in history: Charles Mingus dies at 59

Charles Mingus

Today in history, we remember the decease of the highly influential American jazz double bass player Charles Mingus. Mingus was born on April 22nd, 1922 and focused on collective improvisation, like old New Orleans jazz parades. His compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements of Third Stream, free jazz, and classical music. Mingus once said that Duke Ellington and the church were his biggest influences. Dizzy Gillespie once called Charles Mingus “a young Duke”. Mingus was a pioneer in double bass technique and ‘cos of his fearsome temperament, he was know for his nickname ‘The angry man of jazz’. Charles Mingus died 5 January 1979, 59 years old.

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