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

Author:  Gene Santoro
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Learn more about Myself When I Am Real:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0195147111
ISBN-13: 9780195147117
Sku: 30785070
Publish Date: 4/10/2007
Pages:  480
Age Range:  NA
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The baby, barely three months old and pudgy but with bright eyes and an inquiring air, was the center of attention as he fussed on the hot train. He was riding with his parents and two older sisters as they traveled from Fort Huachuca, the dusty desert army post outside Nogales, a grubby, boiling speck on the Arizona-Mexico border. (from the first line)
Nogales was where the baby, Charles Mingus Jr., had been born on April 22, 1922. | The Mingus family was heading to a larger dusty desert town-Los Angeles, California. For a decade, L.A. had rocketed through boomtown expansion fueled by a new industry called Hollywood. Like Nogales and the entire southwestern United States, it was part of the Spaniards' New World colonial legacy. Later, the baby would sometimes claim Mexican blood. Like many of his claims, he justified this one by his reading of his history and experience, even if it wasn't, strictly speaking, true. | ESTELLA WILLIAMS, first cousin: He had a guilt complex: he felt he had killed his mother. He said that to me many times, sitting in his car. It seemed to affect him greatly. Sometimes he was on the verge of tears. Aunt Mamie was the only mother he knew. He said his father was really nasty, too harsh. The color differences, these can be serious things. My mother was very light and married a dark man. So my brothers and I came out on the dark side. Now, the Minguses all have different shades of lightness. Vivian was the lightest. But to me Grace looks like a dark white woman.
An acclaimed music critic strips away the myths shrouding Jazzs Angry Man, in the best examination yet of an American original ( The Washington Post ). *Author: Santoro, Gene *Binding Type: Paperback *Number of Pages: 480 *Publication Date: 2001/11/29 *Language: English *Dimensions: 9.06 x 6.10 x 1.36 inches
From the Publisher:
Charles Mingus was one of the most innovative jazz musicians of the 20th century, and ranks with Charles Ives and Duke 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 close friends knew. 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.
Annotation:
In this celebration of Charles Mingus, jazz critic Gene Santoro draws on over 100 interviews with Mingus' friends, family members, and colleagues to create a flattering portrait of the renowned jazz bassist.

Praise

Publishers Weekly
"When writing about Mingus's actual musicmaking, Santoro is in his element." 6/26/00

New York Times
"Santoro presents his story like a documentary film collage, with talking heads directing the discourse every page or two--Hentoff, the wives, Knepper, Mingus himself. While these italicized quotations are informative, they stagger Santoro's narrative. Rarely able to sustain the story line longer than a few paragraphs, he leaps fitfully from Mingus's private life to his music, from his checkbook to great moments in the civil rights movement. Each chapter breaks down into 40 or 50 sections, which crumble away into little paragraphs, eroded by tiny sentences. These fragments make for slow going." - Daniel Mark Epstein 8/6/00

Times Literary Supplement
"The pathos of this episode is striking, and the larger effect of Santoro's book its story of binges, evictions and breakdowns is to raise the question, how did Mingus rescue a large body of original music out of such a precarious, tempestuous life? The answer is also contained in Santoro's book, which sparkles with Mingusian flashes of joy and anger, even as it unwinds to its melancholy end. At one point in 1965, Mingus took a copy of Edmund Shaftesbury's CULTIVATION OF PERSONAL MAGNETISM IN SEVEN STEPS and knifed out its midsection, so that he could stash a handgun for protection. The act had both a whiff of desperation and a metaphorical cunning; like much of Mingus's music, it testified to the unexpected powers found in the charismatic arts." 08/18/2000

Boston Book Review
"[This book] is a triumph. It presents an intriguing portrait of an extremely complex character--by no means an easy feat." - Eric L. Adler September/October 2000

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0480
Product attributePublisher:   Oxford University Press, USA
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