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Mingus Speaks Hardcover – May 20, 2013
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Longtime jazz writer Goodman maintained a relationship with protean composer and bassist Charles Mingus during the last decade of the controversial musician’s life (he died in 1979) and conducted interviews with Mingus (albeit with the interviewer often too intrusive and Mingus often turning the questions inside out), his wife, Sue; and a number of musical and personal associates. Goodman had long contemplated publishing a book, which, after several transformations, has evolved into this oddly organized but invaluable volume. The tempestuous (iconoclastic, contentious, contradictory, infuriating) Mingus was sui generis as a musician and as an individual. His speaking style, presented here in as-good-as-it’s-possible-to-get transcriptions, was as singular as his musical voice, and jazz lovers have not heretofore been able to hear it this purely. Mingus’ own memoir, Beneath the Underdog (1971), though a staple, is famously unreliable, making this present addition to the jazz library, including Mingus on the history and theory of music, the business, the so-called avant-garde, race, sex, and his forerunners and contemporaries, all the more essential. --Mark Levine
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This book gives one a sense of how this consummate musician's mind worked, if indeed possible.
I did buy his excellent "Let My Children Hear Music" album as it's discussed a lot in the book, due to the time period the writer spent with Mingus.
If you have more than passing interest in CM and his music, you'll enjoy this read greatly !
Indeed, it's essential to bring out the many minds and moods of Mingus. Watch out, because you might recognize part of yourself in there.