Category: Mingus, Charles

Charles Mingus: A Thinking Musician

This week I’ll be linking to some classic Downbeat interviews. Here is a very interesting 1951 talk with outspoken bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus. Even this early he had so much to say! From the interview, his take Jazz as art:

“True jazz is an art, and as with all the arts, is the individuals means of expressing his deepest and innermost feelings and emotions. What will live on past the arrested development of boogie-woogie, Dixieland, and bop remains to be seen. It may take 500 years for the average American audience to advance sufficiently out of the mental turmoil and anxiety of the atomic age to be able to concentrate more on the art of music and to understand and appreciate a musicians individual interpretation of a melody rather than only the composers.

At that point in the growth of jazz, it will no longer be necessary for a musician to jump up and down on a drum or to dance on the bandstand to receive recognition of his talent.”

Click here to read Charles Mingus: A Thinking Musician

— Peter Blasevick

Blindfold Test: Charles Mingus

Leonard Feather conducted this listening session with Mingus for Downbeat in April of 1960. Mingus is not very complimentary about much of what he hears. Interesting read.

Click here to read Blindfold Test: Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus and Nesuhi Ertegun

Record producer and executive Nesuhi Ertegun interviews the great bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus in Ertegun’s Atlantic records office in late 1961 or early 1962. The interview is well over and hour long. They talk about everything. Enjoy.