Too Many Bullets...Not Enough Soul
Some 19


The Pill





Eric Mingus was born in New York City on July 8, 1964. He grew up through a maze of twists and turns, some musical, some just bizarre. There was the teenage gig as a lighting and stage director for a Borscht Belt comedy club, an early 20s stint as an amateur boxer, and of course, three months spent as house martini mixer in the boardroom of the Old Grandad whiskey company.

All along, music was a staple. After studying voice and bass at Berklee College in 1985, Eric sought the education of the road, touring with Bobby McFerrin, Karen Mantler, and Carla Bley. Moving to London in 1994, Eric worked in many major European venues, including The Jazz Cafe, London; Qusimodo, Berlin; and Momontra, Copenhagen. He also played at all of the major European jazz festivals. Additionally, Eric taught vocal improvisation classes and a Charles Mingus workshop at London's Community Music House.

Eric Mingus comes by innovation honestly. His father, groundbreaking jazz legend Charles Mingus, was the punkest cat around in the 50s and 60s. In this tradition, Eric is bold and unafraid to mince words. Echoing Marvin Gaye crooning about death and taxes, or Gil Scott-Heron looking for Whitey on the Moon, Mingus is bleakly sweet, slyly political, pissed off and informed. Um...Er...Uh... is a fantastic, valuable record that blends gritty R&B ("Lazy, Romantic Fool"), perhaps the only honest lyrical description of a mixed race childhood ("His Blood's In Me") and some nasty beats ("Shake up the World, Didn't I Blow Your Mind").

In the summer of 1999, Eric made a high profile European debut at the Royal Festival Hall in London, performing on a bill that included Jarvis Cocker, Jimmy Smith, Beth Orton, Nick Cave and others. In the past nine months he has been featured in Vibe, Rolling Stone, Paper, and Bass Player magazines. On January 1st, The New York Daily News named Eric one of "50 New Yorkers To Watch in 2001.