Thursday, June 15, 2006


You're complete right, Jo, the quote was from Charles Mingus.
I found it on a double CD made by Proper in the series Dejavu Retro Jazz Charles Mingus Works 1951-1977

Charles Mingus is a colourfull figure like Monk. I remember I had an LP or a tape with Mingus music I played all day when I was in my 20s, although I don't remember which one. The music, like Monk's, seemed to be addictive.

I remember to have seen a documentary, called Mingus, about a certain period in his life. In the autumn of 1966 he had rent an apartement ( as a studio for music, painting, sculpture, and other art purposes ) and he had to leave the place, as the owner of the apartement wanted to move into the place himself. The films shows an outcast addicted to drugs and alcohol, living in the middle of unpacked boxes, rubbish and other mess all indications of a licentious life filled with mental problems. It has been some times ago that I saw this documentary, but I remember how he demonstrates his gun by shooting in the ceiling before removed by the police. In the biography Myself When I'm Real Gene Santoro writes about this incident.

He felt discriminated by the color of his skin and was a member or sympathizer of the Black Power movement. He had written a letter to the governor Nelson Rockefeller and the president of the US, Lyndon B. Johnson reading: I'm Charles Mingus. Half black man, yellow man, half yellow, not even yellow, not even white enough to pass for nothing but black, and not too light to be called white. I claim that I am a Negro. Charles Mingus is a musician, mongrel musician who plays beautiful, who plays ugly, who plays lovely, who plays masculine, who plays feminine, who plays music, who plays off sounds, sounds, solid sounds, sounds, sounds, sounds ... a musician who loves to play with sound.

To hear and see Mingus playng please click on the title bar.

MINGUS - USA 1968 – f dir Thomas Reichman
Songs: "All the things you are" by Oscar HammersteinII, Jerome Kern; "Secret love" by Paul Francis Webster, Sammy Fain; "Take the ‘A’ train" by Billy Strayhorn; "Freedom", "Don’t let it happen here", "Portrait", "Peggy’s blueskylight", "Half mast inhibition" by CharlesMingus.With: Charles Mingus, b, pno, in interview andin performance, with Lonnie Hillyer, tpt;Charles McPherson, as; John Gilmore, ts; WalterBishop, pno; Dannie Richmond, drs.Filmed in November 1966. (Source: Jazz in the Movies- David Meeker)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that the one with Mingus being evicted from his apartment? That's a pretty depressing film, very interesting though. I think you can actually watch it on Youtube if you search for "Mingus", it's split into 5 or 6 parts. (DatDere in Organissimo Jazz Forum)

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. The "depressing" one was done by Thomas Reichman in 1968. There is a more recent documentary/performance film that I prefer titled "Triumph of the Underdog" (1997) directed by Don McGlynn. (MartyJazz in Organissimo Jazz Forum)

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Depressing, yeah. But you get some John Gilmore, so, like so much in life, hey. (JSngry in Organissimo Jazz Forum)

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, Mingus explains in the film that he likes Jutta Hipp better than Toshiko Akiyoshi! (Bertrand in Organissimo Jazz Forum)

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Het hilarische fragment dat mingus dat geweer 'test' en in zijn plafond vuurt heb ik ooit ook is gezien in een andere reportage over de gechiedenis van de jazz (vraag me niet de welke, die van ken burns?), nu weet ik uit welke docu dat origineel komt. thanks, heb je die docu op tv gezien? zou ze graag eens zien. (Rosebud in

8:06 PM  

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