Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus” as Want to Read:
Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  149 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Charles Mingus was one of the most innovative jazz musicians of the 20th Century, and ranks with Ives and Ellington as one of America's greatest composers. By temperament, he was a high-strung and sensitive romantic, a towering figure whose tempestuous personal life found powerfully coherent expression in the ever-shifting textures of his music. Now, acclaimed music critic ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published July 20th 2000 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Myself When I Am Real, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Myself When I Am Real

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Al Maki
Mar 17, 2014 Al Maki rated it liked it
Shelves: life-story, music
I should start by saying that Mingus composed and organized the bands that played some of my favourite music. The book gave me insight into where he came from and the environment he worked in. I found his struggles to keep creating jazz as the economics of the music industry shifted were particularly interesting. It seems to me that Santoro also proposes that the beat movement of the post war era drew a lot of its style by appropriating the African American styles of the time. I find this an int ...more
Grant
very disappointing. writing is horrible. that it was extensively researched is its one winning quality. and that i am a fan of the mingus.
Blair
Sep 03, 2013 Blair rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, on-music
This is a very fun biography. Mingus was a very volatile talent, both in his musical style and his personal life. He had a bad temper, didn't take shit form anyone. Santoro writes with almost a prose-like style to basically fit that fury into the lines, and it works well. It's a bit too long, but worth the read. It's almost like Mingus was a character in a Scorsese movie, chasing at people with knives, his anger a character bigger than his self at times. As a result there are some very memorable ...more
Peter Sims
Mar 21, 2010 Peter Sims rated it liked it
A biography on one of my heroes that didn't blow me away yet completely disappoint me. Most likely the best biography written on him, but doesn't hold a candle to Lewis Porter's Coltrane, the best jazz biography I've seen.
Will
Jun 11, 2008 Will rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Sought this out because I had heard several crazy stories about Mingus (e.g., rehearsing his band during performances, punching out his trombone player) and have always gotten a kick out of his quirky music. Fairly well written biography about a very eccentric guy.
Qa'id
Apr 19, 2008 Qa'id rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
A slowish read at times, but it's always enlightening to learn about the details of the lives of folks who transcend the boundaries of "ordinary" creative capabilities.
Craig Turner
Craig Turner rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2015
Joe
Joe rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2009
Billthebassist
Billthebassist rated it really liked it
Oct 21, 2007
Philly Aesthete Brown
Philly Aesthete Brown rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2008
EchosMyron
EchosMyron rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2015
David Strassman
David Strassman rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2014
Zafra
Zafra rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2015
Steve Leach
Steve Leach rated it liked it
Jun 19, 2011
Nigel Gillett
Nigel Gillett rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2016
Dagmar Morgan
Dagmar Morgan rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2013
Tom
Tom rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2012
Stephen
Stephen rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2008
Blake
Blake rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2008
Liz Bankhead
Liz Bankhead rated it liked it
Aug 18, 2013
Leonora Rafua
Leonora Rafua rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2015
Joe
Joe rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2011
Solanderdog
Solanderdog rated it did not like it
Jan 22, 2013
Chad Walker
Chad Walker rated it liked it
May 17, 2012
Cooch
Cooch rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2012
Alan spiegel
Alan spiegel rated it liked it
May 15, 2012
Ed
Ed rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2007
Jon
Jon rated it did not like it
Apr 29, 2009
Phil Overeem
Phil Overeem rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2011
Jessica
Jessica rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2011
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • As Though I Had Wings: The Lost Memoir
  • Visions of Jazz: The First Century
  • If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday
  • Beneath the Underdog
  • Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
  • Straight Life: The Story Of Art Pepper
  • Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography
  • John Coltrane: His Life and Music
  • Nick Drake: The Biography
  • A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music
  • Ascension: John Coltrane And His Quest
  • To Be or Not to Bop
  • Coltrane: The Story of a Sound
  • So What: The Life of Miles Davis
  • Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend
  • The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings
  • What's Welsh for Zen: The Autobiography of John Cale
  • Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy

Share This Book