Charles (or Charlie) Mingus, automatically won my affection because originally he is a Bass player. I think the bass is one of the most beautiful and eloquent instruments. It has to it a quiet yet autoritative tone, and an easy going, nothing can bother me attitude, which I find fascinating. Hopefully one day I will have the time to learn to play this beautiful instrument.
Back to our point, Mingus is amazingly articulate with his bass. Beyond the beautiful lines he has produced in his pieces, his solos and improvisations take the bass to new heights. The beauty in Mingus' playing is that he turns the bass into an autonomous instrument, bringing melodic phrases to the repertoire of bass players (not an easy thing to do on an instrument designed mostly to provide the rythm line.
What is really wonderful is that Mingus constantly evolved his music skills and was an outstanding pianist too (!), in fact he produced a whole album - Mingus Plays Piano (on the Impulse label), a beautiful record in itself.