Charles Mingus' accomplishments surpass in historic and stylistic breadth those of any other major figure in jazz. Truly one of the greatest, Mingus shared with us his talent as a bassist, composer, arranger, leader, author, and sometimes pianist and vocalist. As a double bass player he commanded an awesome technique and was thoroughly conversant with all styles of jazz existing during his lifetime. He developed a new "conversational" approach to the double bass, as found in What Love and Epitaph, and also a "pianistic" approach that simultaneously combined the bass line, inner harmonies, and improvised countermelodies, as found in Stormy Weather. Charles Mingus began playing the double bass in high school and after years of practice he joined Barney Bigard's ensemble and played with Kid Ory. Soon after, he toured in the big bands of Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton. Recordings were made of Mingus working with jazz greats like Billy Taylor, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, and Dizzie Gillespie.