Charles Mingus

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Charles Mingus (April 22, 1922 – January 5, 1979) was a noted jazz bassist, composer, author, and activist for the cause of African American freedom.

Mingus led his own large and small ensembles, and played with a number of jazz greats including Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach.

His best-known compositions include "Goodbye, Pork-Pie Hat," an elegy for Lester Young, and "Fables of Faubus," a biting attack on Arkansas segregationist governor Orval E. Faubus.

In 1971, Mingus published his memoirs, Beneath the Underdog.

Mingus died of A.L.S. ("Lou Gherig's disease") in 1979. One of his last projects was a collaboration with the singer Joni Mitchell.