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Beneath the underdog : his world as composed…
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Beneath the underdog : his world as composed by Mingus (urspr publ 1971; utgåvan 1991)

av Charles Mingus, Nel King

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4791037,363 (3.84)9
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.   "This book is the purest of dynamite.  Like the autobiographies of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday and like A. B. Spellman's Four Lives in the Bebop Business, it says more about the American psyche in general and black survival in particular than the sociologists and psychologists ever can in their stiff, soulless vocabularies.... Somber, comic, disturbing, boastful, confessional, sentimental, contradictory, poetic, irascible, impish...lyrical, nasty, angelic, reflective...expressionistic, picaresque, jive...this is a powerful book."-- Rolling Stone… (mer)
Medlem:TAE-library
Titel:Beneath the underdog : his world as composed by Mingus
Författare:Charles Mingus
Andra författare:Nel King
Info:New York : Vintage Books, 1991.
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

Självbiografi av Charles Mingus (1971)

  1. 00
    The Last Holiday: A Memoir av Gil Scott-Heron (freddlerabbit)
    freddlerabbit: Another memoir that doesn't tell you much about the artist, but that's written in his own, distinctive style.
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It's difficult to describe Charles Mingus' story. It's improvisational, stream-of-consciousness, full of dialogue, philosophy and sexual escapades. He addresses and hates the racism inherent in the music business and the world in general. The story wanders often but is never, ever boring. ( )
  Hagelstein | Jun 28, 2020 |
I loved this book. I read a lot of jazz biographies, and i have an interest in jazz behind the iron curtain - and this book has enough drugs, prostitution, crime, bigotry, religion, and insanity to justify banning jazz music in half a dozen countries. Mingus's voice is as clear as the voice of his muse, who takes turns narrating the story and interviewing the musician. Fifty years of the backdrop to the jazz scenes of New York, California, and the south - the way it was for a half-black half-mad genius.
If there's a downside, there isn't much about jazz. Great musicians wander through the tale, but the tunes, gigs, and venues are incidental to the girls and the troubles of a crazy pimp and artist trying to make his way through an impossible life. Occasionally the number of albums he's recorded comes up in conversation, but not a single session is mentioned. If you want more of that, read a biography - you might also find out how true the stories are. I don't care, it's his reality and they are his stories and i loved them. ( )
1 rösta andrewlorien | Mar 30, 2016 |
Large. Music. Jazz in the fingers. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Like, apparently, every woman mentioned in these pages, I finished Mingus with equal parts amusement and dissatisfaction. It's sometimes charming, and sometimes annoying - just like the repetitive tales of a good man brought low by his times.

Many memoirs are nothing but vehicles for ego-stroking and self-aggrandizement - Beneath the Underdog certainly qualifies - but it is so just plain bizarre that I found it more entertaining than offensive.

For such a storied artist, Mingus doesn't seem to have a lot of experiences. There are two stories in this memoir, repeated ad infinitum. A) Mingus is seduced by some woman, struggles with his morals, but decides to cave into sex, and then feels badly about it. All women are sex-crazed fiends who can't get enough of him and insist on dragging the poor man down! (We have a few mentions of prostitutes, who don't apparently count as women for this purpose.)This shows, I think he thinks, that he is a better man than anyone else, no matter what his behavior would otherwise indicate.

B) Occasionally, he pops up with a strong stance on musical purity, diatribing at his father or friends, but this bad world and his bad friends are too cynical to let that stand, and he always finds himself having to compromise. This shows, I think he thinks, that he is a better man than anyone else, no matter what his behavior would otherwise indicate. Sound familiar?

ETA: a friend points out I'm being unfair - there is also substantial name-dropping of other musicians. Not much about them except to mention they loved the Mingus, but Famous Names of Jazz are strewn throughout. Noted!

Throughout, Mingus narrates his own life in a third-person voice, an omniscient narrator voice - you're not sure if it's meant to be some heavenly or diabolical intervention until late in the book, where he says that as a consequence of being dropped on his head as a child, he's always existed outside himself, in the third person.

I can't in good conscience recommend this one - if you want a memoir that tells you nothing, really, about the person in question, but is quirky, I'd recommend The Last Holiday instead. But if you do pick it up, you might find moments of enjoyment, despite yourself, as I did. ( )
  freddlerabbit | Jan 3, 2013 |
Mingus' acerbity was legendary, and you can bet your bippy that this memoir is no break from that. Well worth reading, there is comparatively little -- lamentably little -- about his musical philosophy, processes, and techniques, but a tremendous amount about his seeting mind, plus great cameo-bios of the many people whose paths crossed with his. ( )
  HarryMacDonald | Dec 14, 2012 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (8 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Charles Mingusprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
King, NelRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pfeiffer, GünterÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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'In other words I am three. One man stands forever in the middle, unconcerned, unmoved, watching, waiting to be allowed to express what he sees to the other two. The second man is like a frightened animal that attacks for fear of being attacked. Then there's an over-loving gentle person who lets people into the uttermost sacred temple of his being
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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.   "This book is the purest of dynamite.  Like the autobiographies of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday and like A. B. Spellman's Four Lives in the Bebop Business, it says more about the American psyche in general and black survival in particular than the sociologists and psychologists ever can in their stiff, soulless vocabularies.... Somber, comic, disturbing, boastful, confessional, sentimental, contradictory, poetic, irascible, impish...lyrical, nasty, angelic, reflective...expressionistic, picaresque, jive...this is a powerful book."-- Rolling Stone

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