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Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog (1998)

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Charles Mingus ...
Himself (archive footage)
Gunther Schuller ...
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jazz | independent film | See All (2) »


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24 October 2004 (Spain)  »

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An American Icon or Iconoclast?
27 April 1999 | by (Seattle, USA) – See all my reviews

Charles Mingus, one of the most creative forces in American 20th Century music, is examined in depth through archive footage and interviews with two former wives and numerous former bandmates. The music of Charles Mingus goes beyond simple categorization. Schooled in classical music, with his early professional exposure in the Los Angeles swing scene, Mingus moved through numerous styles, working with the major innovaters, such as Bud Powell, Charles Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, & Eric Dolphy. A volatile personality, his gentle and extreme sides are both in view. My favorite scenes are of Mingus' responses to stupid questions. By the end of this film, even those people who do not appreciate jazz will agree to Charles Mingus' place as one of the finest composers & musicians in American history.


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