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Bassist Charles Mingus (1922 - 1979), drummer Roy Haynes, pianist Thelonious Monk (1917 - 1982) and saxophonist Charlie Parker (1920 - 1955) perform at the Open Door, New York, New York, September 13, 1953. (Photo by Bob Parent/Getty Images)

Wednesday, May 21st – 7 pm
Book Event: Mingus Speaks
author/interlocutor John Goodman talks!

Author John Goodman will speak at Bird & Beckett the evening of May 21st on the man, Charles Mingus, and the book, Mingus Speaks: Interviews with Charles Mingus, 1972-1974 (John Goodman, author; Sy Johnson, photographer; University of California Press, 2013).

From John Goodman’s website,  What is this thing called Mingus?  mingus4Some have heard the name, a few know his music and maybe a story or two. But most people don’t know who he really was or how he came to be one of the master players and composers in jazz.

MINGUS SPEAKS is a book of extended interviews which allowed the man to explain himself. He was assisted by me, the interviewer, and by a number of close associates who commented on aspects of his life, behavior and music.

We sat in bars and restaurants in Philadelphia and New York, in his apartment and Sue’s {Sue Mingus]. I did over 20 hours of tape. The transcription was difficult because Mingus spoke a rapid-fire, slurred speech that hopped around a lot from topic to topic. It took a lot of editing… Mingus talks about how he saw himself as composer and performer, how he saw his peers and predecessors, how he created his extraordinary music, how he looked at race. A lot of what he said has never been revealed before, and readers will find some reshaping of the Mingus legends.  We did the interviews in 1972 and 1974, five years before Mingus died. It was a contentious and wonderful period in his life and for his music.

Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.

The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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