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Jazz Portraits (Mingus in Wonderland)
Charles Mingus
Jazz Portraits (Mingus in Wonderland)
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Charles Mingus
Title: Jazz Portraits (Mingus in Wonderland)
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1959
Re-Release Date: 1/25/1994
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724382732525, 724352575626

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CD Reviews

One of My Favorites
Jerry Engelbach | Brooklyn, NY | 04/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I too was taken by this album when I first heard it in the early 1960s. I've always especially loved "Alice's Wonderland" -- which has been recorded elsewhere under the title "Diane" -- and regretted that it was not included in the film for which it was composed, John Cassavetes' "Shadows." I don't share the opinion that this was not a great date. I love the spontaneity and ambience of the live recording. I heard Mingus at the old Five Spot in New York and this is what he sounded like, without retakes, without perfect acoustics. I do wish the miking were more natural. But the performances are first-rate."
One of the reasons I learned to love jazz
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 02/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have to differ from Mr. Richman as much as I respect his opinion. I happened across this album about thirty five years ago in the beginning of my Mingus obsession. Yes, this is not one of Mingus' greatest albums and it is not his greatest band (the Dolphy-Jordan-Byard-Richmond lineup leads that list). This is, however, some of the greatest American music ever composed played by an excellent band. Booker Ervin on the tenor, John Handy on the alto, Richard Wyands on the piano, Mingus playing beautifully on the woodiest of all instruments- the standup bass and, as always, Dannie Richmond on the drums. Ervin and Handy are a wonderful pair, both supportive and competitive (they have a great chase to end No Private Income Blues) and they both possess wonderful tone. That beautiful tone of Handy's is showcased on Duke's lovely "I Can't Get Started". Nostalgia in Times Square is one of Mingus' best tunes- possessed of one of those loopy melodies of his that are so hummable. This may not be his best date but it is a darn site better than much of the music that has been recorded since this was on January 16th, 1959. That's good enough for me I guess. That and the fact that I am listening to Handy and Ervin debate on private income right now and am grinning from ear to ear. Thank you, Charles."
Excellent Live Mingus from a Milestone Year
G B | Connecticut | 07/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"1959 was a milestone year for Charles Mingus -- he recorded four albums which included some of his best known, and best, compositions/performances. Unlike the other three albums, which mostly feature larger ensembles, this semi-obscure one has a stripped down quintet: John Handy on alto, Booker Ervin on tenor, Richard Wyands on piano (subbing for Horace Parlan), and Danny Richmond.

Two of the compositions here, "Nostalgia in Times Square" and "Alice's Wonderland", also appear on the album Mingus Dynasty under the titles "Strollin'" and "Diane". The former is a swinger with an extremely catchy melody; the second is one of Mingus's finest ballads. "No Private Income Blues" is a spectacular performance. Handy and Ervin trade scorching licks at ever-shrinking intervals, eventually engaging in a thrilling simultaneous improvisation. I think it anticipates some of the better-known performances with Eric Dolphy. The only standard, "I Can't Get Started", is a feature for Handy.

Overall, this album is highly recommended. Both saxophonists play at a very high level, and Mingus's bass is more heavily featured than on other albums from this year. I wouldn't quite put it on the level of Mingus Ah Um, Mingus Dynasty or Blues & Roots, but you will almost certainly like it if you enjoy those. It will probably also appeal to fans of Mingus at Antibes or The Great Concert."