Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus


Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 1.1 X 9.1 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

Krin Gabbard retired after thirty-three years of teaching at Stony Brook University, and he now teaches in the jazz studies program at Columbia University. His previous books include Hotter than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture and Jammin' at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema. He lives in New York City with his wife, Paula, and he is busy playing his trumpet and writing a memoir about his parents.


"Krin Gabbard uses his own unique perspective to illustrate the famous musician's life and genius."--Darcy Peters"Smooth Jazz News" (09/01/2016)
"Will likely long stand as the definitive account of the genius, and enigma, that was this great bassist, bandleader, and composer. Certainly no one has heretofore delved as deeply and thoroughly into what made him tick."-- (01/31/2016)
"'Better Git It In Your Soul draws the reader to listening to its subject's productions. If already familiar with Mingus' music, a reader may return to favorites with fresh ears and deeper insights. . . . Gabbard's greatest personal contribution to understanding Mingus is his contextualization of events through his own broad, well-informed perspective."-- (04/01/2016)
"Offers several lenses through which to view Mingus and his music--the milieu in which he lived, wrote and played; literary life; closest musical associations; and as a coda his experience in film. . . . There is much in Better Git It In Your Soul to limn one's understanding of and approach to Mingus' tremendous body of work as well as the challenges he faced and orchestrated as a black artist in America."-- (03/01/2016)
"This is a wonderful book! This book completely absorbed me. . . . You really took me in with your own emotional palette."

-- (02/26/2016)
"An important contribution to not only the study of Charles Mingus but also of the evolution of postwar jazz."--STARRED REVIEW--Library Journal (03/01/2016)
"A solid addition to the literature of jazz."--Booklist (03/03/2016)
"This isn't simply a new telling of Mingus' life story, although Gabbard does an excellent job of that in just under 100 concise and nicely paced pages. Gabbard also takes a deep dive into specific aspects of Mingus' output. Most notably, he performs forensic work in exploring how Beneath the Underdog came to be."-- (04/25/2016)
"Gabbard examines the musical career of one of the giants of Jazz, Charles Mingus, offering a look at the man beyond his sensationalized musical career and personal mythology."--Publishers Weekly (11/27/2015)
"14 of the Best Gifts for a Music Snob Who's Heard Everything: Krin Gabbard's bio is as idiosyncratic as the great jazz bassist and composer that is its subject. There aren't many places you can go to read comparisons between Mingus and Philip Roth as well as detailed musical analysis of his epochal and hard-swinging compositions."
-- (12/15/2016)
"Gabbard's careful attention to new and underutilized resources and dedication to placing the many dimensions of Mingus's existence in their larger contexts should indeed enhance readers' appreciation of Mingus as a musician, composer, arranger, writer, poet, and bandleader."--Notes
"Gabbard . . . addresses Mingus's music and legacy in comprehensive fashion and is full of impassioned and well-reasoned arguments."--Jazz and Culture