Charles Mingus Essay

Decent Essays
Eddie K.
Jazz 219

Charles Mingus Charles Mingus is a very important and influential name in jazz; however he is left out by many historians when talking about the history of jazz. The main reason he is left out by so many historians, Mark Gridley in particular, is because of his attitude and ego. He is clearly not the most pleasant person, and he surely does not display how a real jazz musician should act, at least according to most historians. The way he acts during performances can be quite startling at first, if you are not familiar with his ways and methods of playing. For example, he was known for using profanity during performances, either geared at the audience if they were being too loud or the sound operators if the
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Another chapter I would also include him in would be Chapter 5, ‘How Swing Differs from Early Jazz’. I would include Mingus in this chapter as well because it talks so much of his most influential Jazz artist, and at one point fellow band mate, Duke Ellington. I feel like Mingus truly does have enough variance in his music to help point out and draw the fine line between early jazz and the newer ‘swing’ jazz. The main differences between these two categories of jazz are that in early jazz, you were a lot less likely to have the ‘big band feel’ to the music, and soloist played a more important role in early jazz, whereas in the ‘swing’ era, you were introduced to more of a variety of instruments as well as new techniques on how to play them. Mingus puts out good examples and songs/performances that clearly display how things transitioned from early Jazz to swing, and then onto other evolutions of jazz as well. After learning and hearing many of Charles Mingus’s music, I definitely feel it is unfair for any historian to leave him out of an in depth jazz history book. I hope jazz book writers to come take note of Mingus’s accomplishments, and start to include him in the history books right up there with Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Louis Armstrong. It is only fair to him and his fellow band mates, however, only time will
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