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Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog 2004

  • Don McGlynn
  • October 24, 2004
  • 78 mins
  • Documentary, Music
A thorough, poignant profile of jazz legend Charlie Mingus.
Don McGlynn's uncompromising and soulful documentary look at the tumultuous life of musician and rebel Charles Mingus is fascinating stuff. Mingus said of himself "I am half black man, half yellow man, but I claim to be a Negro. I am Charles Mingus, the famed jazz musician--but not famed enough to make a living in America." His statement summed up the conflict that plagued this musical genius his entire life: volatility, pain, prescience, and raw rage roiled inside a complex man, composer, bass player, and trombonist who transcended labels and refused to be pigeonholed into a single musical style--and who did not achieve real fame until late in his career.

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