The legacy of Charles Mingus is, in short, inexpressible. An innovative jazz bass player, composer, bandleader and pianist, his extensive repertoire included playing alongside names like Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. He was known as the "Angry Man of Jazz," an affectionate nickname he earned thanks to his temperament (band members often lived in fear of being kicked out mid-set). He grew up in Watts and vocally raged against racial injustice. He collaborated with Langston Hughes on The Weary Blues. He composed several jazz standards like "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," "Better Get It In Yo Soul" and "Moanin'." Elvis Costello has even set words to his music. See? Pretty inexpressible. New York City's Mingus Big Band carries on the legacy of their namesake, playing only the very best selections from Mingus' extensive catalogue, including complete recreations of the highly celebrated albums Mingus Ah Um and Blues & Roots.
Fri., May 8, 8 p.m., 2009