The Ultimate Charles Mingus Playlist

There was no one in jazz quite like Charles Mingus. An iconoclast, an intellectual, a satirist and a poet, Mingus essentially redefined the rules of large ensemble jazz during his heyday in the 1950s and ’60s, liberating it from the constraints of swing and bebop and opening it up to the possibilities of the avant-garde. And while he never fully embraced that movement, he certainly helped lay the groundwork for the generation of artists who would usher it in. At the same time, he brought strong political themes into his work that would strengthen jazz’s power as a means of social commentary, addressing, through his music and his lyrics, subjects as crucial as racism and poverty in America. As a bassist, he fused high art with old soul, weaving homespun threads of blues through compositions that were often highly intricate and musically challenging. This playlist spans the bulk of his recorded career, incorporating songs from some of his most important albums and from his finest collaborations (including a stunning trio album with Duke Ellington and Max Roach). It’s not a complete retrospective, but more a vista into Mingus’ fascinating and creative mind.  After all, this is the player who once said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creative.”

Listen on: qobuz

Better Git It in Your Soul
Charles Mingus
Ah Um

Moanin’
Charles Mingus
Blues & Roots (Mono)

Track A- Solo Dancer
Charles Mingus
The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Charles Mingus
Ah Um

Haitian Fight Song
Charles Mingus
The Clown

Dizzy Moods
Charles Mingus
Tijuana Moods

The Shoes of the Fisherman’s Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers
Charles Mingus
Let My Children Hear Music

Hora Decubitus
Charles Mingus
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Fables of Faubus
Charles Mingus
Ah Um

Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting
Charles Mingus
Blues & Roots

Song with Orange
Charles Mingus
Mingus Dynasty

Boogie Stop Shuffle
Charles Mingus
Ah Um

Myself When I Am Real
Charles Mingus
Mingus Plays Piano

All The Things You Could Be By Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus

My Jelly Roll Soul
Charles Mingus
Blues & Roots (Mono)

Caravan
Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington
Money Jungle

Flamingo
Charles Mingus
Tijuana Moods

Tonight At Noon
Charles Mingus
Tonight At Noon

Reincarnation Of A Lovebird
Charles Mingus
The Clown

Cryin’ Blues
Charles Mingus
Blues & Roots

Fleurette Africaine
Charles Mings, Duke Ellington
Money Jungle

Pithecanthropus Erectus
Charles Mingus
Pithecanthropus Erectus

Devil Woman
Charles Mingus
Oh Yeah (Deluxe)

II B.S.
Charles Mingus
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Track C-Group Dancers
Charles Mingus
The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady

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