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Editorial Reviews. Review. Born consumed with rage Mingus translated these feelings into Beneath The Underdog (Canons) by [Mingus, Charles].
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The pimping, the badly written erotica, the fights You do learn a lot about Mingus from this, but nothing you would want to know. At least you will come away knowing how to toilet train a cat. Apr 16, Andrew Ludke rated it it was amazing. This is a fierce, bragging, smart, autobiography that's full of tall tales and simple truths. Written in a very straightforward language that's full of colloquialisms slang and street smarts.

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It reminded me of the anger evident in the Miles Davis biography, but it's more matter of fact about it. I recently read this for the second time and it was just as good as i remember it. Aug 12, JDK rated it it was ok. And a pretty heavy serving of mysticism on top. This did not have the feel of a book that was written: Toward the end of the book, he makes a statement I've always had trouble with. In discussing jazz, he says "It's the American Negro's tradition, it's his music. White people don't have a right to play it, it's colored folk music. And I seriously doubt Mingus, at any age, would have gone along if some white doofus told him he didn't have the "right" to play classical music.

If you're interested in playing music, you're interested in playing the music that speaks to you emotionally and engages you intellectually. Aug 31, Acharnaikos rated it liked it. I would give it two and a half stars. The concept is great: Forget about, "And then I played with Miles," and, "Bird was great because Some people complain that this book doesn't talk about the music enough. This book isn't about how Mingus lived through jazz history. This book is about Mingus. It is the mind of Mingus. Stream of consciousness, musings on love, contemplations of what it means to be a I would give it two and a half stars.

Stream of consciousness, musings on love, contemplations of what it means to be a minority, poetically talking about split personalities and telling stories about a detached self that may or may not be true: Who cares about how the music was played and who played it and why? This is what went into the music, what made it.

It's not a memoir. It's a novel; it's poem; it's song! So, why only two and half stars? Because, sometimes the music just isn't that good. Sometimes it has the substance without the style, sometimes the style without the substance. Sometimes it doesn't have either particularly when it comes to the sexually explicit passages that often come off as juvenile though, one could argue that these passages are often spoken through the characters, but still The focus doesn't so much shift in parts as jumps or wanders and usually needlessly so, and the structure doesn't always make sense: Sometimes chapters ramble on, hopping through disjointed scenes, acts, and themes, while some cohesive scenes, acts, and themes are broken up into several smaller chapters.

And, before you say that I just don't get it, I will say that this is all done in such a way that it just seems unconscious and haphazard rather than provocative, experimental, intentional, and purposeful. But, it's Mingus, so you have to take it warts and all, and the parts that do succeed are worth the wait, as they give the reader a dream of how grand this sort of expression could be.

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The book was clearly written by a musician with a great sense of musicality. That's one of its great characteristics: It was undoubtably written by the man's whose name appears on the cover. This was not the work of a ghostwriter. But, one wishes that Mingus could have found himself a stronger editor who could have helped him craft his ideas into something more consistent.

Aug 27, Chris Q. Murphy rated it liked it Recommends it for: May 12, Graeme rated it liked it. This book is maddening. It's at times smooth and wonderful and at others, completely obscuring. You read it and you feel as if you understand Mingus more, and that you know nothing about him all at the same time. He writes it pretty much as quoted conversation between him and anyone that wanders into his world, from Lady Day to countless 'bitches and whores'. You see it all through Mingus's zany vision, which is elucidating and baffling at the same time. Maybe it's Schroedinger's Cat.

It is fabu This book is maddening. It is fabulous and awful at the same time, but it's tough to figure out what state it's in at any given time. Loved it, hated it, all at the same time. Maybe I'm just too dumb and incredibly clever at the same time, and can't figure out what state I'm in at any given time. It's all about probability. Apr 03, Darran Mclaughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: A wild autobiography written in a stream of consciousness style, often narrated as a conversation between different aspects of his personality and as a conversation with his psychiatrist.

He writes of his struggle, growing up poor in Watts and trying to succeed as a musician in a racist society. He was obviously a tortured man with mental health issues and an explosive, violent temper, counter balanced by a gentle, loving side.

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He was also one of the greatest musicians and composers in Jazz or a A wild autobiography written in a stream of consciousness style, often narrated as a conversation between different aspects of his personality and as a conversation with his psychiatrist. He was also one of the greatest musicians and composers in Jazz or any other genre.

Charles Mingus is one of the great jazz legends I have ever heard. His music is experimental and groundbreaking, yet he was troubled and plagued by addictions and demons.

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This is his autobiography and it is not only as out there as his music, but also pretty great too. Told in the third person, Mingus talks to his therapist about his life up from his crazy family and upbringing in California to his meteoric rise in the jazz world. It's raw, its honest and it's weird. But the book works. A must-re Charles Mingus is one of the great jazz legends I have ever heard. A must-read for every jazz fan and Mingus fans alike. Jan 11, Matthew rated it really liked it. I am a fan of Mingus. I couldn't wait to get to the point where he talked about recording with Duke Ellington and Max Roach and it never happened.

I would have been disappointed if this book was not so well-written and fascinating. I'll never listen to his music the same way again. Not for the faint of heart. A must read for any fan of his. Sep 06, Dave Naz rated it it was amazing Shelves: People have strong opinions about this book. I think it's a masterpiece. One of my favorite exaggerated autobiographies.


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Less music, more mental institutions and pimping. I love his music and his writing. One of my favorite books to read. Mingus shares with us the wild ride some true, some liberties taken that was his life. He is one of the few artist that I relate to as well as inspired by in my journey so I find a sort of relief while reading this book. Nov 20, Erin rated it really liked it. Mingus thought this stuff happened.

Beneath The Underdog (canons) Mingus Charles 0857862189

Apr 21, Panagiotis Thanopoulos rated it it was ok. Sep 10, Reuben Stump rated it really liked it. He tells it using third person, even though it's an autobiography, which is weird.


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It took me a little bit to figure it out. Jan 07, Christopher Costabile rated it it was amazing. Charles Mingus was possibly the best jazz composer ever, and one of the best Twentieth Century composers, period. This is his story, as told by the man himself, in manic, beat-style prose. May 26, Eric Stone rated it it was amazing.

One of the great, weird, wild, probably largely made up but who cares, autobiographies of all time by one of the greatest musicians of all time. This book has sat on my shelf for 46 years. I always thought it was titled "Mingus"; thought it was serious jazz writing, like the other classics from those days. Books by Stearns, Hentoff, Granz and others. About the time I bought it I became engrossed in other things.

Not long ago I read Teachout's "Pops". Wonderful story, Thought I 'd read another like it. I took down "Mingus" the other day and started reading.

Beneath the Underdog by Mingus, Charles

It was like Vachss or Spillane or a half dozen other good noir writer This book has sat on my shelf for 46 years. It was like Vachss or Spillane or a half dozen other good noir writers. And tricky, because he switches voices, using his inner voice to comment and observe on what his corporeal self is doing. Writer Toby Litt stated that "His autobiography is that of a profoundly troubled, often bitter man who never feels loved enough but constantly undermines those loves offered to him. Mingus' last wife, Sue Mingus , indicated that the book was an account of "the superficial Mingus, the flashy one, not the real one.

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The original manuscript was acquired, along with other material documenting Mingus' life, by the Library of Congress in Readings from the book were included in Hal Willner 's recording, Weird Nightmare: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Beneath the Underdog Hardcover edition. The New York Times. Library of Congress Acquires Works of Composer". May 15, "Bass Viol Book".


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