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Paul Chambers vs. Charles Mingus

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by weeding, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. weeding


    May 17, 2005
    Whom do you prefer? As an electric only, Mingus's speed and fluidity scare me to death, but Chambers lines are so tasteful and seem to fit perfectly.... I was hoping I could hear some opinions on these two masters.
    timobee4 likes this.
  2. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Complete opposites in many ways. Mingus was an outspoken, eccentric player whose style is inimitable IMO, but yet when you compare some 50's output in which they were both basic sidemen, then their personalities start to intersect a little.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I like them both and try to buy as many CDs of each as I can get to hear! :)

    Both played as Sidemen and Leaders doing an excellent job in each case!

    Mingus's compositions are better know, but both were great bass players in their own right and essential listening for anybody remotely interested in Jazz bass playing!

    I think it's great that we don't have to choose between great musicians and can listen to as many as we like! :)
  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Why do vs. threads exsist?

    That said, I like Mingus better, more outside the box... and a great composer to boot.
    timobee4 likes this.
  5. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, I love the fact that Mingus could compose the most amazing works where his bass didn't have to stand out front- it was always more abut the groups movement. In the liner notes to The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, he talks about how the piano player on the session was trying to be too flashy/ technical but not allowing his soul through his lines (not his exact words)- thats always been my thought on Mingus- he was capable of ridiculously technical/ fast playing, but was infinitely more concerned with the "soul" of the song....
    I hope I didn't just turn this into a Mingus thread!
  6. musicman5string

    musicman5string Inactive

    Jan 17, 2006
    PC vs. Mingus on what level, and with what regard to electric bass? (Or is this posted in the wrong forum?)
    Both were outstanding bassists who contributed greatly to the jazz tradition.
    Both had great sounds, but different; Mingus' was more raw and "unpolished" whereas PC's was a little smoother and warm.
    Both were excellent with the bow.
    Mingus' time feel was earthy and raw; PC's was round and solid.
    Both were great soloists, Mingus having more chops than PC.
    Both acted as both sidemen and leaders in their careers, with Mingus being more well known as a leader and PC more as a sideman.
    Both played gut strings unamplified. Both had big sounds.
    Mingus obviously is the greater composer and leaves a bigger legacy, and was also more outspoken and animated (an understatement to be sure).
    I don't know what else you'd want answers for in this thread; I don't think either one did any two handed tapping.....
    timobee4 likes this.
  7. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Mingus did however do some cool techniques with the string hangin off the side of the fingerboard, particularly on 'Money Jungle', a great album with Mingus/Max Roach/Duke Ellington
    timobee4 likes this.
  8. dehory


    Oct 13, 2005
    New York, NY
    Scott LaFaro!
  9. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    In a physical fight Mingus would win all the way.
    timobee4 likes this.
  10. Headroom


    Apr 5, 2002
    From what I've read, Mr. Mingus could whup an entire band if sufficiently agitated. But he was also someone capable of great generosity.
    timobee4 likes this.
  11. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    If you read his autobiography, there's a real funny part when a trombonist from the Ellington bigband Mingus was in pulled a knife on em and Mingus does a flyin sidekick and disposes of the man quickly. Heee-larious.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually if we're talking about a physical fight - then there's no contest !! Mingus was known for giving a good account of himself in any situation - whereas PC was quiet and when not playing - likely to be out cold, sleeping off the drink! :(
  13. LeftyLB70P


    May 4, 2005
    Athens, Ga.
    Not to hijack here BUT.......

    I was not aware that Mingus played electric (forgive my ignorance). Can I get some tips on albums that have some of his better/best playing on an electric bass so that I can check him out ....... I can't even begin to compare the two at this point. I love the Mingus stuff that I am familiar with but at the same time Chambers.......come on, Chambers in nasty, greasy, jazzy fonk personified :hyper:
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    No not really - there is a story that he picked one up once - and was really contemptuous about it! :p

    But all his best albums are Double Bass all the way!
  15. I'm not going to choose between them, but I have to say that Mingus had an amazing tone.
    timobee4 likes this.
  16. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Ack. I don't like Mingus' playing or his tunes. Paul Chambers wins.
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well you are cutting yourself off from some of the best bass playing and best Jazz compositions ever......:meh:

    Your loss I suppose!
  18. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    Both are great so why choose, listen to both. I tend to listen to PC more because I am a Coltrane fan.
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I admire Mingus for many things, but I honestly enjoy listening to Chambers more. I would say Mingus was more inspiring, but his tunes tended to be so "challenging" that I can only listen to them now and then, whereas I can enjoy Chambers all day. Maybe that makes Chambers "easy listening"? :D :p
  20. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    There's this weird quality to Mingus' tunes that just rubs me the wrong way. I can't really quantify it, just that my ears hate me when I listen to Mingus. And his bass playing is overrated, I think. There's too much talk about Mingus and too little about Pedersen, IMO.

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