Charles "Charlie" Mingus, Jr. (April 22, 1922 â€“ January 5, 1979) was an American jazz bassist, composer, bandleader, and pianist. He was also known for his activism against racial injustice.
Mingus is considered one of the most important composers and performers of jazz, and he recorded many highly regarded albums. Dozens of musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. His tunesâ€”though melodic and distinctiveâ€”are not often re-recorded, in part because of their unconventional nature. Mingus was also influential and creative as a band leader, recruiting talented and sometimes little-known artists whom he assembled into unconventional and revealing configurations.
Nearly as well known as his ambitious music was Mingus' often fearsome temperament, which earned him the nickname "The Angry Man of Jazz." His refusal to compromise his musical integrity led to many on-stage eruptions. Mingus was prone to depression. He tended to have brief periods of extreme creative activity, intermixed with fairly long periods of greatly decreased output.
Most of Mingus's music retained the hot and soulful feel of hard.