Track Selection 1: Nostalgia in Times Square
If you like, sing along! “a woo woo, a woo woo, a diddly da, a diddly da, a diddly da a woo woo…” (reprise, change key)
Track selection 2: Alice’s Wonderland
John Handy (as) Booker Ervin (ts) Richard Wyands (p) Charles Mingus (b) Dannie Richmond (d) recorded live at Nonagon Art Gallery, NYC, January 16, 1959
In other people’s words: “Nostalgia In Times Square” attempts to portray the busy taxi-horn anarchic sound of New York’s centre. It has that unique distinctive harmony at the beginning between alto and tenor sax. As Handy moves through his first solo, it’s interesting to hear Mingus, with his assertive bass pattern, change the tempo two times. Keeping the same form, Mingus does it again while Ervin moves out with his solo. Then, after a lengthy bass excursion, Mingus exchanges fours with drummer Richmond. They bounce ideas off each other, Mingus quoting “Dixie” and “Camptown Races” and Richmond quoting Gene Krupa.
In the liner notes Nat Hentoff says “Nostalgia In Times Square” was written for the film “Shadows” produced by John Cassavetes, as was “Alice’s Wonderland,” which however was not used in the film; It was originally written for a love scene, and the sensitive approach used by Mingus for this one is quite unusual.
The music can be described as “advanced bop” that looks toward the upcoming innovations of the avant-garde. It’s a chance to hear Mingus the bassist and Mingus the leader in action with a small group.”
Vinyl: World Record Club T663
UK release pressed by EMI, Hayes Middlesex, first released on United Artists UAJS 15005 “Bendy Tenor” label. Jazz portraits/Wonderland has been issued at various times in different covers, with resulting “identity crisis”
Starting on the left with the original UA “floating head” cover of the “bendy tenor” label, through various cover art iterations and every possible permutation of title including the words Wonderland, Portraits, Jazz, and Mingus.
World Record Club Ltd
World Record Club issued a significant number of original releases in the UK, some not easily obtained any other way. The home of the World Record Club was Richmond Green, the heart of the west London borough of Richmond upon Thames. For anyone not familiar with it, Richmond is a gritty urban jungle of high density low rent public housing projects and derelict factory lots, located just off the end of the third runway of London’s Heathrow airport.
LJC says: what better location from which to publish New York hard bop, finger-on the-pulse edgy Richmond Upon Thames. To misquote Douglas Adams “a place so hip it has difficulty seeing over it’s pelvis”. “A woo woo, a woo woo, a diddly da ” Great.
Pressing by EMI for World Record Club of Richmond on Thames., machine stamp following curvature of the record
As best I recall, this came from a shop in the London area, can’t for the life of me recall which, but I think it was a fiver. The seller clearly didn’t know what to make of the World Record Club. One rung above or below “Music For Pleasure”. Should have followed LondonJazzCollector.