Myself When I Am Real The Life and Music of Charles Mingus

ISBN-10: 0195147111

ISBN-13: 9780195147117

Edition: 2nd 2002 (Revised)

Authors: Gene Santoro

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Description:

A pioneering bassist and composer, Mingus redefined jazz's terrain. He penned over 300 works spannig gutbucket gospel, Colombian cumbias, orchestral tone poems, multimedia performance, and chamber jazz. By the time he was 35, his growing body of music won increasing attention as it unfolded into one pioneering musical venture after another, from classical-meets-jazz extended pieces to spoken-word and dramatic performances and television and movie soundtracks. But Mingus got headlines less for his art than for his volatile and often provocative behaviour, which drew fans who wanted to watch his temper suddenly flare onstage. Keeping up with the organized chaos of Mingus's art demanded gymnastic improvisational skills and openness from his musicians, which is why some of them called it "the Sweatshop". He hired and fired musicians on the bandstand, attacked a few musicians physically and many more verbally, twice threw Lionel Hampton's drummer off the stage, and routinely harangued chattering audiences, once chasing a table of inattentive patrons out of the FIVE SPOT with a meat cleaver. But the musical and mental challenges this volcanic man set his bands also nurtured deep loyalties. Jey sidemen stayed with him for years and even decades. In this biography, Santoro probes the sore spots in Mingus's easily wounded nature that helped make him so explosive: his bullying father, his interracila background, his vulnerability to women and distrust of men, his views of political and social issues, his overwhelming need for love and acceptance. Of black, white, and Asian decent, Mingus made race a central issue in his life as well as a crucial aspect of his music, becoming an outspoken (and often misunderstood) critic of racila injustice. Santoro gives us a vivid portrait of Mingus's development, from the racially mixed Watts where he mingled with artists and writers as well as mobsters, union toughs, and pimps to the artistic ferment of postwar Greenwich Village, where he absorbed and extended the radical improvistation flowing through the work of Allen Ginsbert, Jackson Pollock, and Charlie Parker. Indeed, unlike most jazz biographers, Santoro examines Mingus's etra-musical influences - from Orson Welles to Langston Hughes, Farwell Taylor, and Timothy Leary - and illuminates his achievement in the broader cultural context it demands. Written in a lively, novelistic style, "Myself When I Am Real" draws on dozens of new interviews and previously untapped letters and archival materials to explore the intricate connections between this extraordinary man and the extraordinary music he made.
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Book details

List price: $29.99
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/29/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 462
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.496
Language: English

Preface
Introduction
Prologue Better Got It in Your Soul
Growing Up Absurd
Black like Me
Aking the Scene
Life During Wartime
Portrait of the Artist
The Big Apple, or on the Road
Pithecanthropus Erectus
Mingus Dynasty
Camelot
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
One Flow Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Beneath the Underdog
Lot My Children Hear Music
Changes
Don't Be Afraid, the Clown's Afraid, Too
Notes
Bibliography
Discography
Acknowledgments
Index
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