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Charles Mingus Documentary ("A true Jazz Legend")

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Orangethenblue, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Orangethenblue


    May 25, 2011
    My Fellow Bassist

    I am directing the new documentary on my grandfather Charles Mingus entitled "A True Jazz Legend." The film is focused on the reevaluation of his legacy on terms that I as a grandson can understand. Many jazz icons are commodified and the history in general has been written from the perspective of "product" not process. I believe that in seeing the humanity in the so called "legends" we can continue the real creative legacy of this art form.

    I am reaching out to the bass community because I would like to find those of you that might have known him or have direct insight into his approach on the bass. I was 3 when he passed and did not know he was a bassist until I had been playing the bass for 2 years. Absentee fatherhood is another unfortunate aspect of the Mingus legacy. I am working independently and can use all the support and encouragement out there to be sincere.

    Feel free to use this as a place to leave comments about him as a bass player and the influence he may have had on your playing.
    It would be great if you could be specific. General terms like virtuoso are nice but my aim is to get down deeper in his character and motivations as a player. I am a bass player myself and while the documentary has other focuses and aspects of his legacy, it would be nice to include material that deals directly with him as a bassist which has never really been done by anyone with perspective or knowledge of the instrument.

    I truly appreciate your help and lookforward to hearing from you.
    It goes without saying that if you have material or stories you are willing to share and feel could contribute to the narrative you should please reach out.

    Respectfully yours Kevin Ellington Mingus

    For more information on the project or to contact me directly please visit. A True Jazz Legend | © 2011
  2. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Sounds great. I believe he had a clinic at L.A. City College & from what I hear he left a pretty big footprint. You may want to inquire with the Music Dept staff there; maybe they know something. Please contact me if you need publicity stills. I'm a photographer.
  3. frankenjazz


    Jan 2, 2010
    I dont really have any insights to his playing but from a personal point of view, when i was 18 i had gotten into fusion and did not really care for acoustic jazz, then one day by chance on NPR i heard Haitian Fight Song and The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers, and i got it, You're Grand Father woke me up musically speaking and I am forever indebted to him and your family for all the wonderful music I have had the honor experiencing, from both a composer and bassist point of view he truly is one of the greatest to ever live.
  4. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    Well, I can't say much, being 19 and from New Zealand. But I always liked to listen to 'jazz' for my whole childhood and when I was growing up as a teenager. I liked listening to Trane cause my dad always played him around the house. When I heard Mingus for the first time, it opened my mind to not just finding a new musician with a HuGE body of work, but it allowed me to feel more when I listen to others, like Trane. You can't listen to Mingus and not walk away feeling emotionally uplifted. Well, I can't anyway. That's everything when I hear his music. A representation of raw, unashamed emotion. He is cast in a very strong, powerful, macho light. To me his strength is in his ability to represent the fragility of life, emotion and the person.

  5. bThumper38

    bThumper38 brian ebert

    I started out on upright as a kid, and Sir Mingus was a huge inspiration. I checked out this album on vinyl from the local public library, ....................and never returned it. I know I'm bad.

    Attached Files:

  6. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Small world! Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus was pretty much the recording that pushed me to start on DB. He swings like crazy on that disc.

    CM is just one of my faves period. Great tunes, great bands, great bass playing; what more can one ask?
  7. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    I also have have started producing a documentary on your grandfather Mr. Mingus. Obviously, he was an incredible talent in regards to composing, playing, and just being bad ass.
    I'm focusing on how he was real. Yeah, he was a performer, but he was a real mother **cker also.
    Check this link. This is what I dig most about Mingus.
    YouTube - ‪Charles Mingus - Shortnin' Bread‬‏
  8. Orangethenblue


    May 25, 2011
    Thank you for sharing. Honestly though there are many reasons I don't dig that clip or its placement in the film where it was used. . You have to take it in context. And this is a case where presenting the context is much more "mingus" than the affect of man cursing on a mic. Miles cursed too, but he also drove a Ferrari. Mingus was in a wheel chair a year after.
  9. Your comments show a rare insight for one so young.

    I first learned about Mingus at University back in the early '80s and apart from being one of the bass and jazz greats the main thimg I took away was that he was uncompromisingly strong in his attitude to the world. A long time has passed but just a few weeks ago a dormant desire to know more about him awoke after listening to the Basscast podcast. I ordered Mingus Ah Um and Joni's Mingus album online and they"ve just arrived.

    OrangethenBlue: I look forward to hearing more about the new Mingus documentary. Whatever angle you are planning to take I wish you good luck.
  10. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    Actually, the cussing is not what I was getting at. It was the social political satire of the piece.
  11. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Funny that this should come up. I look forward to seeing the new film.

    I watched "Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog" just last weekend. Who knew; it is available as streamed video on Netflix (for those who have that).

    Netflix - Unlimited TV Shows & Movies Online

    I have nothing new to say about Charles Mingus. I listen to his music. It makes my life better and my musical mind richer.
  12. Orangethenblue


    May 25, 2011
    I hear you. The story behind that concert is very interesting.
  13. NedRock


    Jun 3, 2011
    Los Feliz, CA
    Hello OTB,
    This sounds like it will be a fascinating film about a very complicated man, I can't wait to see it!

    I grew up in Las Vegas, and back in those days (late 70's - early 80's) the wealth of musical talent in that town was staggering, as some of the best players in the world moved there to work in the hotels.
    One of my good friends in high school was a fantastic trombonist named David Hammer. His father Bob was a pianist/composer/arranger that had worked quite a bit with Mingus.
    If you do a goog search for "Bob Hammer Seattle" you will see that he is still "with us" and gigging in that area, he might be a good source to get a glimpse into the man behind the legend.

    Best of luck!
  14. I'm 16, and thusly I haven't met Mingus or have any stories about him that I can directly corroborate (although my teacher met your grandfather!), but I have to say that when I listened to "Moanin'" for the first time, I really "got" Jazz. It wasn't as if it was a mystery to me anymore what some people saw in it--it was as if I really felt the spirit of the music punch me right in the heart and tell me "You need to listen to this!"

    And I've been doing so ever since.
  15. Orangethenblue


    May 25, 2011
    It is great to hear yours and Shakin-Slim's comments from such a young age. Keep it up! Having music in your life no matter to what extent only adds to the joy of sharing and living. I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions from everyone. We will follow up on your leads-please try and include time frames. Looking forward to sharing some new material soon.
  16. bottomzone


    Oct 21, 2005
    Very cool! I'm looking forward to checking that out!

    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:

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