Charles Mingus (1922-1980)

Laurent Filipe Sextet: Mingus and More


In the music of bassist and composer Charles Mingus, besides its fundamental importance in the realm of XX century music, one should also point out that the theatrical and circus-like character of his writing which, in association with the energy and beauty that arise from the melodies, generate an irresistible motivation and inspiration to those who perform it. Thus the interest in selecting a part of the composer 's work and presenting compositions which, in my opinion, best reflect Mingus' genius and complementing that repertoire with some original compositions of mine.

Concerning the instrumentation, I opted for a reduced and flexible set-up, better suited to the repertoire and without sacrificing an essentially orchestral type of writing, capable of conveying the melodic content of each composition.


Laurent Filipe (trpt, flhrn, voice)
Mário Santos (tenor and soprano saxophones)
Gregg Moore (trbn. and tuba)
Carlos Azevedo (piano)
Paulo Bandeira (drums)
Carlos Barretto or Massimo Cavalli (bass)

Charles Mingus (1922-1980) a short "bio".

In addition to being a virtuoso bassist, Charles Mingus was one of the most important composers of the American music scene of the XX century. Mingus was influenced by coral church music as well as the music of Duke Ellington and started his professional career in the 40's accompanying such great masters as Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory and Lionel Hampton. In the 50's he played with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Duke Ellington.

Mingus was one of few bassists to lead his own groups and projects, including the creation of his own record label, under which he published his extensive repertoire of original music. His discography stands as a witness to his immense creative ability, always on the forefront of the Jazz scene. Out of more than one hundred albums and three hundred Mingus scores, one should point out the following: Pithecantropus Erectus, The Clown, Tijuana Moods, Mingus Dynasty, Mingus Ah Um, The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and Let My Children Hear Music.

In 1971, Mingus received the "Slee Chair of Music Award" and his autobiography "Beneath the Underdog" was published. His music was also choreographed by such companies as the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and the Joffrey Ballet Company, namely the piece "The Mingus Dances", in 1972.