Blues for Mingus
Blues for Mingus is a lively, rhythmic and enjoyable jazz-inspired work for the intermediate quartet, also playable by massed basses, and is a fitting tribute to Charles Mingus (1922-1979), one of America’s iconic jazz bassists.
Primarily played pizzicato, there are optional opportunities for improvisation and this is a good opportunity to experiment with different pizzicato styles.
Composed in 1999 for the ISB Young Bassists Project, bass 1 plays into low thumb position but the others are firmly rooted in bass clef. The premiere was conducted by the composer who also performed the final cadenza in the penultimate bar.
Let your hair down and have fun!
“A largely pizzicato affair, with jazz triplet rhythms and occasional hand claps, this quartet defines the blues with a kind of laid back rhythmic spirit. Textures are never too dense – something which cannot always be said of bass quartets – with interest spread among the parts and some unisons which help to keep the writing uncluttered. Mainly up to fourth position, there is one short higher section (into thumb position) for the first player, who also has an optional cadenza, but there are optional improvisations in other parts. The fourth part is restricted to first and half positions, but needs a strong adherence to the triplet rhythm. This quartet is a must for bass courses and as an interlude in youth orchestra sectionals.” [ESTA – News & Views]