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Hardbopjazz

Does anyone know why Mingus punched Jimmy Kneeper in the mouth?

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Posted (edited)

I heard this ruined Jimmy’s ability to play his trombone after that. 

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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From Krin Gabbard's bio of Mingus:

"By an extremely unfortunate coincidence, Knepper stopped by to see his old boss a few days before the Town Hall concert, and Mingus hired him on the spot to copy out parts.  (Knepper had beautiful handwriting, and Mingus had actually paid him to copy out parts when he ws a member of the Jazz Workshop.). As Mingus was handing piles of music to Knepper and at least two other copyists, time continued to slip away.  Knepper was not producing at the rate Mingus wanted, and when Charles also asked him to compose figures for the band to play behind soloists, he refused.  In response, Mingus punched Knepper in the face with such force that he knocked out a tooth."

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I heard it was because he asked him to play "Knepper On Sunday."

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And yet there he was with Mingus when I saw them in 1976.

 

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3 minutes ago, rostasi said:

I heard it was because he asked him to play "Knepper On Sunday."

Dear lord, that’s truly awful. (Bravo!)

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and then, some say, mingus sent knepper a bag of heroin in the mail.

as far as knepper's ability to play being "ruined"...no doubt there were problems. but...he never stopped playing, and never made any bad records once he got his chops back to whatever state he got them back. I heard a surtain...increased roughness of tone, but that's about it.

then again, with chops, only the player knows for sure.

 

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The bag of heroin was Mingus' way of saying "excuse me"? To which Knepper reportedly said, "I'd rather have my tooth."

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JR Monterose told me when he and Jackie McLean were in the band, one night he and Jackie were on the road with the band and broke. They walked by a "fancy" restaurant and saw Mingus eating a big meal inside. They waited and Jackie called Mingus out - Mingus made a move to strike McLean and JR threatened to clobber him with his tenor if he hit Jackie.

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Then there was the interview with Chas. McPherson where he talked about his first gig with Mingus. Eric Dolphy told Mingus he wanted to leave the band, and Mingus pulled a knife on him, and told Dolphy to pull out his knife. Dolphy said he never carried a knife, so Mingus went across the street to buy him a knife.

When Mingus returned with the knife, Dolphy refused to pick it up, and just said. "Mingus..." The other guys in the band managed to talk Mingus out of having a knife fight, while CM sat there wondering wtf he was getting himself into...

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Posted (edited)

On 4/23/2021 at 2:27 AM, Larry Kart said:

The bag of heroin was Mingus' way of saying "excuse me"? To which Knepper reportedly said, "I'd rather have my tooth."

Not exactly, it was to damage Knepper's position in court hearings. As per Wikipedia:

Charged with assault, Mingus appeared in court in January 1963 and was given a suspended sentence. According to his [Knepper's] daughter, Robin, Mingus also later mailed heroin to Knepper's home, and made an anonymous phone call to the police. A little girl at the time, she remembers the police questioning her father after the mailman delivered the package.

What a nice man, Mingus. 

I seem to remember reading somewhere that musicians (Buddy Collette?) who witnessed the assault refused to testify in Knepper's support, and instead stood behind Mingus.  

Edited by Д.Д.

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