The genius of Mingus? It was all in the strings

As a broadcaster and a bass player, I often end up in discussions about the all-time most influential bassists. Charles Mingus is a common, and correct, mention — a multifaceted trailblazer whose musical acumen, imagination and technical facility transformed progressive music from its roots, beginning in the 1950s. However, there is so much attention paid to Mingus’ prowess as composer and his sometimes-turbulent persona that his most fundamental talent — as king of the low end — is sometimes obscured.