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“Mingus’s holiday eggnog was a concoction so delicious and mind-blowing, you would do anything to make sure that you saw him at Christmas.  Over the phone once, he gave me the recipe.”
– Janet Coleman

With holidays coming up, we decided to share Charles Mingus’s rapturous, if potentially deadly, recipe for Christmas eggnog.  In the interest of simplicity, we offer a slightly more sober rendition than the one provided by Janet Coleman in her book. (If you want the whole run-down, word for word, you can get the original by ordering  ”Mingus/Mingus: Two Memoirs” by Janet Coleman & Al Young, on Amazon.)

There’s plenty of room for improvising!
Happy holidays
– Sue Mingus

1 egg per person
2 sugar cubes per egg
one shot of 151 proof Jamaican rum per person
one shot of brandy (or Bourbon) per person
some milk (amount not specified)
cream (amount not specified)
vanilla ice cream
fresh nutmeg – lots

mix milk & egg yolks in bowl
add rum very very gradually or it will burn eggs
add brandy
add whipped egg whites
add whipped cream
add fresh grated nutmeg
Add ice cream to keep eggnog cold!

On second thought, after looking at the dull facts above, am including the original below!
(Janet Coleman just wrote:  ”Ha ha — nothing like the ambiguity of the real thing!  I don’t think he wanted anyone else to make as good an eggnog as his!”)


* Separate one egg for one person.  Each person gets an egg.
* Two sugars for each egg, each person.
* One shot of rum, one shot of brandy per person.
* Put all the yolks into one big pan, with some milk.
* That’s where the 151 proof rum goes.  Put it in gradually or it’ll burn the eggs,
* OK. The whites are separate and the cream is separate.
* In another pot– depending on how many people– put in one shot of each, rum and brandy. (This is after you whip your whites and your cream.)
* Pour it over the top of the milk and yolks.
* One teaspoon of sugar.  Brandy and rum.
* Actually you mix it all together.
* Yes, a lot of nutmeg.  Fresh nutmeg.  And stir it up.
* You don’t need ice cream unless you’ve got people coming and you need to keep it cold.  Vanilla ice cream.  You can use eggnog.  I use vanilla ice cream.
* Right, taste for flavor.  Bourbon? I use Jamaica Rum in there. Jamaican Rums. Or I’ll put rye in it.  Scotch. It depends.
See, it depends on how drunk I get while I’m tasting it.

–Charles Mingus

New Year’s Eve Gala with Mingus Big Band

Don’t miss out on the New Year’s Eve Gala with Mingus Big Band at Jazz Standard!

Jazz Standard welcomes 2013 with a roof-raising gala performance by the Mingus Big Band in the Grammy Award–winning group’s first New Year’s Eve appearance since 12/31/2008. Critics have been raving about the Mingus Big Band ever since it launched in 1991 under the direction of Sue Mingus. “The Mingus Big Band, musician for musician, is one of the most spirited and technically gifted bands in the country,” said the Seattle Examiner, while the New York Daily News hailed “an astonishingly tele­pathic ensemble.” The Los Angeles Times described “a spirited blend of the lush harmonies and boister­ous blues sections, interwoven ensemble passages and sudden tempo shifts that made the late bassist Charles Mingus one of the most challenging and celebrated artists in jazz.” Jazz Standard with the Mingus Big Band is the place to be on New Year’s Eve 2012!  Visit the Jazz Standard website to purchase tickets online, or call (212) 576-2232.

Ticket purchase is all-inclusive and guarantees admission to the show and a 3-course feast of award-winning Blue Smoke barbecue. (beverages not included)

The Mingus Big Band performs at the Ottawa Jazz Festival




At the end of June, the Mingus Big Band traveled to Ottawa, Ontario, to perform in the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.







“The Mingus Big Band picked up the torch. Dedicated to the memory of the iconoclastic bassist and band leader who died in 1979, this 14-piece band performed Moanin’ and Goodbye Pork Pie Hat before deadline. Man, this is fierce stuff, that seems to defy almost every convention of what makes music musical. Sweet band arrangements and Charlie Mingus’ astral sound made for a gorgeous listen.”

–Comments from the Ottawa Sun

Read the review in the Ottawa Citizen!


Part 2 of Mingus’s 1964 Town Hall Concert with Eric Dolphy and Part 2 of Tyrone Guthrie concert “My Favorite Quintet.” (History: Charles and I ran out of money after releasing the first half of these concerts in 1965. The tapes have been in storage ever since.) The plan is to make this music available digitally-– and perhaps in a Mosaic box set produced by Michael Cuscuna– if there is enough interest.
Please let us know! Sue Mingus 

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