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From roots to fusion Illustration: Pepe Menéndez. Illustration: Pepe Menéndez.

From Roots to Fusion — Episode 9

In this ninth episode, some of jazz's most veteran musicians continue to pour their energy. It's a time when two of hard bop's most creative and seemingly tireless songwriters and bandleaders stand out: pianist Thelonious Monk and bassist Charlie Mingus.

The first, he recorded about 35 LPs between 1952 and 1971, most of them as a leader and with his own compositions. His highly percussive piano style was moody, as if he wasn't playing notes but their shadows. Today, his Round About Midnight It is still considered a fundamental step in the history of universal music.

Charles Charlie Mingus, for his part, academically minded and energetic anti-racist, was the main promoter of what became known as the Third Current, an attempt to fuse jazz and contemporary classical music, as evidenced by many of his highly orchestrated recordings.

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