Mingus at 100 Celebrated

Source: Red Hook Star-Revue.

His bass playing was both revolutionary and inimitable. He pioneered a new sense of freedom on the instrument, keeping time, yes, but also commenting on what other musicians were doing, adding a conversational feeling, something close to dialogue, inside group improvisation. This wasn’t free jazz —Mingus often scorned the avant-gardeists like Ornette Coleman—it was freedom within the form and structure of the piece the musicians were playing.