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Bassist Charles Mingus leads a band at the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival, including Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet) and Charles McPherson (alto sax, obscured).

Listen A Charles Mingus Anecdote That Has Nothing To Do With Breasts

October 24, 2012 – On a great bassist and composer, and why a serious gig in 1961 was called a "titty."


Gary Bartz performs at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival. The saxophonist is often cited as a messenger of black empowerment in music.

Read Five Jazz Songs Of The Freedom Struggle

June 19, 2012 – For Juneteenth, today's jazz luminaries reflect on recordings about African-American emancipation.

Don Byron released Love, Peace, and Soul with his New Gospel Quintet on Feb. 21.

Read Gospel Meets Jazz, With Unpredictable Results

March 12, 2012 – Two recent albums offer contrasting perspectives on the intersection of two American music styles.


Dr. Martin Luther  King Jr. sees off a group of Freedom Riders as they board a bus for Jackson, Miss., on May 24, 1961.

Read Instruments Of Change: Music Of The Freedom Riders, 50 Years Later WBGO

May 4, 2011 – The dream of social justice resulted in one of the most creative periods in jazz history. WBGO

Agalloch and Ludicra drummer Aesop Dekker says he thinks Bobby Hutcherson is a sorcerer.

Read Agalloch's Aesop Dekker On His 5 Favorite Jazz Records

February 1, 2011 – Find out which Mingus album the black-metal drummer calls a "Lovecraftian noir soundtrack."

Mingus Big Band

Listen Highlights From The Jazz Standard On JazzSet WBGO

April 22, 2010 – It's a big, bigger, biggest show with Joanne Brackeen, Ron Miles' Quartet and the Mingus Big Band. WBGO


A Charles Mingus LP gets cozy with a Verdi Imperial Stout.

Read The Six Pack: Pairing Summer Jazz And Beer

June 15, 2009 – We asked Washington City Paper's "Beerspotter" to pair beers with appropriate jazz records.

A collage of records.

Listen The First Five: One Man's Introduction To Jazz

April 30, 2009 – Years ago, a record-store clerk gave Tom Cole a vital tutorial, in the form of these five albums.


Lauren Sevian steps up to the mic to establish "Moanin'" with a powerful baritone sax line.

Listen Mingus Big Band On JazzSet WBGO

December 30, 2010 – The group opens with "Gunslinging Bird" and takes off from there at New York City's Jazz Standard. WBGO


Thanks to fellow bassist Milt Hinton's prodding, Oscar Pettiford moved to New York and became one of bebop's most innovative musicians.

Read The Bottom Line: Bass On Top WBGO

February 23, 2009 – Hear the groundbreaking work of five bassists who helped shape the sounds of classic jazz. WBGO

Listen Mingus Big Band: A Rousing, Raucous Concert WBGO

January 5, 2009 – The Mingus Big Band rang in 2009 with a raucous set before a sold-out crowd at the Jazz Standard. WBGO


Hiromi Uehara.

Read Ring In The New Year With Jazz WBGO

December 30, 2008 – Hear a preview of NPR's New Year's Eve "Toast of the Nation" bash with jazz from across the country. WBGO

Duke Ellington, Max Roach and Charles Mingus on the cover of Money Jungle.

Read September Songs: Classic Jazz, Born In The Fall WBGO

September 2, 2008 – In the world of jazz, September sessions have produced some special recordings. WBGO

Listen Mingus' Magnum Opus: 'Epitaph' In Concert

July 24, 2008 – Hear the tempestuous jazz legend's monumental masterpiece, a 2 1/2-hour affair for 31 musicians.


Read Songs For When The City Lights Fade WNYC

July 1, 2008 – WNYC host John Schaefer picks five summer road songs, suitable for escaping urban life. WNYC

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