The Jazz Estate - On this day in 1959, bassist and composer Charles Mingus recorded his famous album
On this day in 1959, bassist and composer Charles Mingus recorded his famous album “Mingus Dynasty” in New York City.The reference to Imperial China (the Ming emperors ruled from 1368-1644) was highly appropriate since the bassist's teenage nickname was 'Ming,' and he was in fact one-quarter Chinese himself and quite happy to go along with the art director's ideas for the album cover. By a happy coincidence, the title also provided an obvious choice of band-name for the groups put together to perform his music after Mingus's death in 1979.This album, after Mingus Ah Um, was also an opportunity for Mingus to give an even broader picture of his musical scope, for he absorbed an extremely wide range of influences before achieving the recognizable Mingus style represented by the enclosed classic recordings. 1939, the year he turned 17, is the date he gave for the creation of his first successful composition ("The Chill Of Death," recorded many years later on Let My Children Hear Music, but its basic concept is far more influenced by late 19th-century European symphonic writers than by any of the jazz he'd heard up to that point. Gradually, in the 20 years separating that effort from Mingus Ah Um and Dynasty, he discovered how to incorporate his compositional inspiration into a context of African-American music and, in doing so, created a new way of organizing jazz performances.
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