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 sound wasn’t up to Mingus’s expectations. That being said, Mingus is a great musician, and just because he doesn’t display the best of etiquettes while performing, doesn’t mean he should be left out of the history books. Mingus also has a very long list of accomplishments in his life. As a growing musician, he was most inspired by Duke Ellington, and he even got the chance to play beside him at one point, even if only for a very short amount of time (Due to his demanding and not very pleasant attitude). Not only was Mingus a very accomplished bassist, but he also went on to be one of the best and most known band leaders and composers in all of jazz, with such an enormous amount of variety in his music. That being said, the only real reason historians have for choosing to exempt him from jazz history books was because of the way he acted.
If I were to alter Mark Gridley’s Concise Guide to Jazz, I would include Charles Mingus in chapter 8, ‘Hard Bop’. Although Mingus’s styles vary so much that it is hard to place him into one chapter, I feel like this chapter includes the most variance to do so in such an acceptable and correct way. This chapter includes many jazz sounds that spin off of many of the “cool” styles, as well as...
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