good morning everyone.
Mingus Monday is back! Did you miss it? I sure did, I got tired of notable weekend events usurping it.
A year ago I finished Beneath The Underdog, an autobiography written by Mingus. Though I would probably argue that the book is more quasi-mythological than autobiographical. The novel reads much more like a character Mingus constructed.
Thankfully for me, I read Deborah Harry’s Face It earlier that year, which I found similar in that Debbie wrote is as the character she plays in Blondie and less like Debbie Harry.
But Deborah Harry’s novel was far less graphic than Mingus. And I probably can’t include many extracts without removing a string of superlatives and risque details.
For those reading the book with the hope that they will learn about Mingus’s musical style or process, they would be gravely mistaken. It is much more about race, affairs and the struggles of a bow-legged man from Los Angeles.
Familiar with his music, perhaps fans could understand or appreciate the tempo in which the novel (less a biography) is presented. He name-drops Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll and many other jazz musicians who have struggled under the weight of the upper white class and record label industry.
Flipping through its pages now, I remember how unique this style is. It isn’t written in the first person, or at least this “Mingus” isn’t. The Mingus is usually referred to as “Baby”, “My Boy”, “Charlie” or “Mingus”. Another reason why I believe this to not necessarily be biographical.
The first chapter, I believe, gives the game away. Which is what Mingus wants. “The man who watches and waits, the man who attacks because he’s afraid, and the man who wants to trust and love but retreats each time he finds himself betrayed. Mingus One, Two and Three.”
Throughout the entire book the reader watches this character cycle through One, Two and Three. Almost like a beat.
It’s a fascinating, if unexpected, study into what Mingus projected himself to be.
For today’s track we dive into Tijuana Moods, which was inspired by a stay Mingus had there, which he described in gory detail in Beneath the Underdog.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Ysabel’s Table Dance, by Charles Mingus
And now for your links:
Alasdair Gold’s latest video on Spurs’ win over Wolves and a busy end to the transfer window
Charlie Eccleshare ($$): Does it matter if Antonio Conte’s team don’t often control the midfield?
BBC: How many records will Harry Kane break?
Long read: Ukrainian football club prepares for new season amid backdrop of war
Wayne Rooney on why Manchester United should drop Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford