“The Unfinished Score – Complete Works of Charles Mingus is nothing like any other books that have ever been written and published about Mingus. What I have attempted to do is to capture [or transcribe] the many moods of Mingus’ tumultuous life almost exclusively from his music, and relocate this to the landscape of poetry. So, in a sense, mine is the only book about the musician that starts and ends with Mingus’ music: its melodies and harmonies, complex tones and textures, abrupt changes in mood and tempi; his insecurities, fears and his enormous appetite for loving. Everything about Mingus somehow felt like a life lived in prose and poetry. Thus the poems are interspersed with prose that imagines how key episodes in his life might have influenced his music.”
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Appreciation for The Unfinished Score:
“Fascinating…I am amazed at it all. Very inspired and full of surprise. I’m amazed at some of the poems? Did you use magic to discern things? I wish Mingus had been around to read these interpretations of his work…” Alan Douglas
“I think your manuscript is a fine, very original piece of work…I suspect you’re going to have a lot of difficulty working through to one of the mainstream publishing houses… On the face of it, your approach to racism, jazz and Mingus and very literary approach to all of them are not all that obviously ‘commercial’. I encourage you to persevere and wish you a good future.” Ross Firestone
“Raul da Gama’s poetry is as engaging and insightful as is his knowledge of the crafts of poetry and music. You will gain so much for reading this if you’re a fan of Mingus, jazz, or art music of any kind.” Dr Mark Lomax II
Raul da Gama is a musician and poet who lives in Milton, Ontario, Canada. His work continues to appear in The WholeNote Magazine and Hot House Jazz Magazine and has also appeared in DownBeat, npr and elsewhere. He is the senior writer for Toronto Cultural Media publications and also writes highly opinionated critiques on music which he publishes in JazzDaGama. This is his third book of poems and first since 1974.