Charles Mingus – prolific American composer, bass virtuoso, memoirist, poet, notorious truth teller, and all-around badass – would have turned 100 years old this year. I was delighted when @DownBeatMag asked me to write an appreciation of Mingus and his place in jazz history – delighted, and a bit intimidated. How on earth could I summarize his life and contributions to jazz in six magazine pages, give or take? You can judge how well I did soon. My story will be in the May issue, hitting the streets approximately April 1.