Review: John F. Goodman "Mingus Speaks"

This compilation of journalist John F. Goodman’s interviews with Charles Mingus for Playboy between 1972 and 1974 is an inside look into the inspired, troubled, and crowning years of Mingus’ life as a composer, bassist and bandleader.
By Jon D'Auria ,

This compilation of journalist John F. Goodman’s interviews with Charles Mingus for Playboy between 1972 and 1974 is an inside look into the inspired, troubled, and crowning years of Mingus’ life as a composer, bassist and bandleader. With more than a few boasts, brags and exaggerations, Mingus goes into detail about his relentlessly stubborn methods of songwriting, his playing techniques, and his very open love and admiration for Duke Ellington’s work; in a rare moment of candor, he also reveals his respect for fellow jazz bassists Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, and Ron Carter. Dismissing avant-garde jazz and stating unequivocally that the blues are the music of his people, Mingus walks Goodman through his very dynamic bass technique, his method of getting a punchy tone, and his one-fingered vibrato maneuver.