mingus amungus
a celebration of the spirit of charles mingus in music and dance

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liner notes for Mingus Amungus: ISMS
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In the Mingus Amungus family, when someone does or says something that is characteristically unique, we acknowledge it by putting "ism" after that person's name. For example, we refer to the ability to say no without actually saying no as a "Joshi-ism"; or aphorisms such as "Must be Ďcause must is donít sound right" as a "Muziki-ism"; or even the incessant meddling with everything technical as a "Miles-ism". It is the nature of these "isms" that make every one of us unique. To appreciate these characteristics is to appreciate the fundamental elements of our individuality.

This CD is a celebration of those characteristics that make us distinct and unique. It is a tribute to these fundamental elements of our being which compel us to leave our own distinct fingerprints on the wall of humanity. By recognizing "isms" we embrace those intrinsic human characteristics that are the building blocks of self, and subsequently, a diverse society.

The concept of "isms" can also be felt in the way we lead our lives. If we embrace diversity, whether racial, cultural, philosophical, or ideological, we then accept the true nature of our humanity. However, if we treat our "isms" as standards by which we measure people, we can ultimately be disappointed and alienate ourselves. Instead we should celebrate our differences from person to person and culture to culture.

Music is deeply rooted in "isms". Regardless of the genre of music, it is the artist's personal touch that makes a piece distinct. This is especially true in jazz. The very essence of jazz encourages artists to find their own voice while interacting with the other members of the group. They engage in a dialogue of unique ideas and personalities, playing off of one another. It is an interaction that challenges us to cherish each personís "isms".

With each performance, with each CD we produce, Mingus Amungus continues to celebrate the diversity that we witness within our society. We will continue to embrace different styles, different cultures and different art forms. I hope that you enjoy this CD as much as we did making it. It is truly a blessing for us to be able to share our mind, body and soul.

- Miles D.V. Perkins, Director

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