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With: Charles Mingus (archival)
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Don McGlynn
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 80
Date: 01/01/1998

Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog (1999)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Mingus Amongus

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Here's a documentary that argues for legendary jazz bassist CharlesMingus being one of the century's greatest composers. And over thecourse of this movie we begin to believe it. The movie centers around a1989 concert performance of Epitaph, a Mingus composition that wasnever performed during his lifetime. Director Don McGlynn shows usinterviews of all the musicians involved, some of whom had worked withMingus. They paint a portrait of Mingus as an artist as inventive asDuke Ellington, but more on the fringe. By the end of the movie, when wehear a section of Epitaph, we're ready to join in singing Mingus'spraises.

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