Jazz great Duke Ellington is said to have directly fired only one person in his career. That was bassist Charles Mingus in the early 1950s. Mingus was an ensemble player and fan of Ellington’s music. But even after being kicked to the curb by his idol, he reimagined jazz with complex and wild compositions.
Now Mingus is considered one of the most explosive jazz virtuosos of our era. Some of his music was released for the first time this month. It’s a live album of a 1974 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. Mingus only ever released half of the show on record. Now the elusive full performance is out on Atlantic Records.