Charles Mingus (1922-1979) is one of the giants in jazz history.

He has been to Japan twice, one in 1971 and the second in 1976.

In 1976, already I liked to buy new published magazine “SWING JOURNAL”,and read it from corner to corner. We got a news that Charles Mingus would come to Japan. I clearly remember the photo of Charles Mingus with a wheelchair. It was a pity to see it.

Frankly speaking at that time I had no room to go to that concert. Then later we got a news of the farewell to Mingus….

There are several albums to tribute to Mingus. Famous ones are “MINGUS” by Joni Mitchell and “FAREWELL TO MINGUS” by Toshiko Akiyoshi.

Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin Big Band – Farewell to Mingus (1980)

Toshiko Akiyoshi used to join in Mingus group even in short time. It was in 1962 when Mingus approached to Toshiko to invite her in his group, saying “Your names is new. New name is very important, asset for the group” She was so impressed with his such sensitive and careful manner (even though looks were frightening!!).

(In her booklet,”ENDLESS JOURNEY”)

In a whole album, there are overflowing appreciation to Mingus.

Always I am thinking that musicians have great privilege to hold farewell in music.

What can we do ??

Happy Birthday 1975