Beneath The UnderdogBeneath The Underdog

Here is Mingus in his own words, from shabby roadhouses to fabulous estates, from the psychiatric wards of Bellevue to worlds of mysticism and solitude, but for all his travels never straying too far, always returning to music.

Author: Charles Mingus

Publisher: Canongate Books

ISBN: 9781847676160


Page: 320

View: 468

Bass player extraordinaire Charles Mingus, who died in 1979, is one of the essential composers in the history of jazz, and Beneath the Underdog, his celebrated, wild, funny, demonic, anguished, shocking and profoundly moving memoir, is the greatest autobiography ever written by a jazz musician. It tells of his God-haunted childhood in Watts during the 1920s and 1930s; his outcast adolescent years; his apprenticeship, not only with jazzmen but also with pimps, hookers, junkies, and hoodlums; and his golden years in New York City with such legendary figures as Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. Here is Mingus in his own words, from shabby roadhouses to fabulous estates, from the psychiatric wards of Bellevue to worlds of mysticism and solitude, but for all his travels never straying too far, always returning to music.

Myself When I am RealMyself When I am Real

2 Mingus recast many events in this chapter in Beneath the Underdog. 3 Coustie is renamed Feisty in Beneath the Underdog. 4 Mingus, Beneath the Underdog, 61. 5 Ibid, 64. CHAPTER 3 1 Gitler, “Mingus Speaks ... and Bluntly,” Down Beat, ...

Author: Gene Santoro

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198025788


Page: 480

View: 852

Charles Mingus was one of the most innovative jazz musicians of the 20th Century, and ranks with Ives and Ellington as one of America's greatest composers. By temperament, he was a high-strung and sensitive romantic, a towering figure whose tempestuous personal life found powerfully coherent expression in the ever-shifting textures of his music. Now, acclaimed music critic Gene Santoro strips away the myths shrouding "Jazz's Angry Man," revealing Mingus as more complex than even his lovers and close friends knew. A pioneering bassist and composer, Mingus redefined jazz's terrain. He penned over 300 works spanning 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. Though critics and musicians debated his musical merits and his personality, by the late 1950s he was widely recognized as a major jazz star, a bellwether whose combined grasp of tradition and feel for change poured his inventive creativity into new musical outlets. But Mingus got headlines less for his art than for his volatile and often provocative behavior, which drew fans who wanted to watch his temper suddenly flare onstage. Impromptu outbursts and speeches formed an integral part of his long-running jazz workshop, modeled partly on dramatic models like Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre. 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. Key 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 interracial 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 descent, 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 racial 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 improvisation flowing through the work of Allen Ginsberg, Jackson Pollock, and Charlie Parker. Indeed, unlike Most jazz biographers, Santoro examines Mingus's extra-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.

Better Git It in Your SoulBetter Git It in Your Soul

Mingus, Beneath the Underdog, 3. 132. “Self-Portrait in Three Colors” is on Charles Mingus, The Complete 1959 Columbia Recordings (Columbia C3K 65145). 133. Laura Marcus, Auto/biographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, ...

Author: Krin Gabbard

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520963740


Page: 336

View: 325

Charles Mingus is one of the most important—and most mythologized—composers and performers in jazz history. Classically trained and of mixed race, he was an outspoken innovator as well as a bandleader, composer, producer, and record-label owner. His vivid autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, has done much to shape the image of Mingus as something of a wild man: idiosyncratic musical genius with a penchant for skirt-chasing and violent outbursts. But, as the autobiography reveals, he was also a hopeless romantic. After exploring the most important events in Mingus’s life, Krin Gabbard takes a careful look at Mingus as a writer as well as a composer and musician. He digs into how and why Mingus chose to do so much self-analysis, how he worked to craft his racial identity in a world that saw him simply as “black,” and how his mental and physical health problems shaped his career. Gabbard sets aside the myth-making and convincingly argues that Charles Mingus created a unique language of emotions—and not just in music. Capturing many essential moments in jazz history anew, Better Git It in Your Soul will fascinate anyone who cares about jazz, African American history, and the artist’s life.

Freedom Is Freedom Ain tFreedom Is Freedom Ain t

The Times Literary Supplement remarked that “despite its repetitious copulations and orgies, [Beneath the Underdog] is important and should be added to the growing library of worthwhile books by black people about precisely what it ...

Author: Scott Saul

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674043107


Page: 408

View: 235

In the long decade between the mid-fifties and the late sixties, jazz was changing more than its sound. The age of Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite, John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, and Charles Mingus's The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady was a time when jazz became both newly militant and newly seductive, its example powerfully shaping the social dramas of the Civil Rights movement, the Black Power movement, and the counterculture. Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't is the first book to tell the broader story of this period in jazz--and American--history.

An American CakewalkAn American Cakewalk

Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus, ed. Nel King (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), p. 3. 15. Santoro, Myself When I Am Real, p. 78. See also Sidney Bechet, Treat It Gentle: An Autobiography (1960; ...

Author: Zeese Papanikolas

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804795395


Page: 256

View: 843

The profound economic and social changes in the post-Civil War United States created new challenges to a nation founded on Enlightenment and transcendental values, religious certainties, and rural traditions. Newly-freed African Americans, emboldened women, intellectuals and artists,and a polyglot tide of immigrants found themselves in a restless new world of railroads, factories, and skyscrapers where old assumptions were being challenged and new values had yet to be created. In An American Cakewalk: Ten Syncopators of the Modern World, Zeese Papanikolas tells the lively and entertaining story of a diverse group of figures in the arts and sciences who inhabited this new America. Just as ragtime composers subverted musical expectations by combining European march timing with African syncopation, so this book's protagonists—who range from Emily Dickinson to Thorstein Veblen and from Henry and William James to Charles Mingus—interrogated the modern American world through their own "syncopations" of cultural givens. The old antebellum slave dance, the cakewalk, with its parody of the manners and pretensions of the white folks in the Big House, provides a template of how the tricksters, shamans, poets, philosophers, ragtime pianists, and jazz musicians who inhabit this book used the arts of parody, satire, and disguise to subvert American cultural norms and to create new works of astonishing beauty and intellectual vigor.

What Is This Thing Called Jazz What Is This Thing Called Jazz

James Clifford and George Marcus (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), 214; Mingus, Beneath the Underdog, 267. 92. David Ake, “Re-Masculating Jazz: Ornette Coleman, 'Lonely Woman,' and the New York Jazz Scene in the Late ...

Author: Eric Porter

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520232969


Page: 404

View: 705

An intellectual history of jazz traces its evolution through the words of the artists themselves, examining how the musicians actively shaped the institutional structure through which the music is created, distributed, and consumed. Simultaneous.

I Know what I KnowI Know what I Know

On the third track, astride the return of ''Canon,'' Robbie Robertson duskily recites an excerpt from Beneath the Underdog about Mingus playing chess in Bellevue with Bobby Fischer. The core quintet, plus Lucas, blast through ''Jump ...

Author: Todd S. Jenkins

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780275981020


Page: 196

View: 769

This chronologically arranged study serves as an insightful guide and helpful overview of jazz composer and performer Charles Mingus's complete body of work.

The Rebel Caf The Rebel Caf

Mingus, Beneath the Underdog, 348; Priestley, Mingus, 43, 83, 88–94; Jesse H. Walker, “Theatricals,” New York Amsterdam News, May 25, 1957, 16; L. Gordon, Alive at the Village Vanguard, 223–24. Lorraine Gordon emphasized Mingus's ...

Author: Stephen R. Duncan

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

ISBN: 9781421426334


Page: 336

View: 570

Ultimately, the book provides a deeper view of 1950s America, not simply as the black-and-white precursor to the Technicolor flamboyance of the sixties but as a rich period of artistic expression and identity formation that blended cultural production and politics.