Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Pony Poindexter With Booker Ervin ''Gumbo!''

Pony Poindexter With Booker Ervin

( LP New Jazz/Prestige Records, 1963, not released )
Catalog # NJLP 8297

1. 3934 Creole Girl
2. 3935 French Market
3. 3936 Gumbo Filet
4. 3937 4-11-44
5. 3938 Happy Strut
6. 3939 Front O'town
7. 3940 Back O'town
8. 3941 Moody Dust

Personnel & Notes:
Al Grey (tb -5/8)
Pony Poindexter (ss, as)
Booker Ervin (ts)
Gildo Mahones (p)
George Tucker (b)
Jimmie Smith (d)
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio,
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, June 27, 1963
** Transfered to Prestige PR 16001

Reissue item available here.

Pony Poindexter's Biography:
First bop-oriented jazz musicians to start doubling on soprano, Pony Poindexter should have been much better-known during his lifetime. As with many saxophonists, clarinet was his first instrument before switching to alto and tenor. Poindexter worked very early on with Sidney Desvigne in New Orleans (1940) and later attended the Candell Conservatory of Music in Oakland. He was with the 1947 Billy Eckstine Big Band and toured with Eckstine a few times during 1948-50. Poindexter was based in the San Francisco Bay area during much of his life, traveling a bit while with Lionel Hampton during 1951-52. He worked steadily as both a sideman and a leader in local clubs throughout the 1950's. Neal Hefti, who was aware of Poindexter's talents early on, wrote "Little Pony" for the Count Basie Orchestra in 1951 (it was a classic feature for Wardell Gray) and Jon Hendricks would later in the decade contribute lyrics for the version recorded by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. During 1961-63, Poindexter became a member of the vocal group's backup band. Doubling on soprano in the 1960's, Poindexter led one record date apiece for Epic (one that teamed him up with many top saxophonists including Eric Dolphy and Dexter Gordon), New Jazz and Prestige. In 1963 he moved to Europe, performing with Annie Ross and leading an obscure recording date for Session in 1969; Poindexter also recorded with Phil Woods, Lee Konitz and Leo Wright on Alto Summit. After living in Paris, Spain (for eight years) and Mannheim, Germany in 1977, Pony Poindexter moved back to the United States, resettling near San Francisco and recording a set for Inner City the following year. However he slipped away into obscurity and never gained the recognition he deserved. None of his recordings as a leader are readily available as of this writing.
By Scott Yanow (AMG)

This record is largely representative of the state of jazz in 1963 -- in other words, a picture of a music in stasis. Barring the continuing explosion that was the John Coltrane quartet, jazz as a medium had largely expended its energy. Thus, we get records like this: competent and occasionally inspired readings based on classic blues forms. Music that isn't quite dead, but doesn't break any ground. That being said, the record itself is quite enjoyable, full of bluesy testifying akin to the efforts of Bobby Timmons or any of the serviceable hard bop quartets then storming about New York. A word of note: Booker Ervin is on the record, but those expecting to hear the fierce combative tenor that graces his own records will be disappointed. This is music that defines straight-ahead: never boring, but never quite intriguing either.
By Rob Ferrier (AMG)

Review (of the reissue item):
A stone classic from New Orleans reedman Pony Poindexter -- a set that's steeped in tradition, but also has a groovy feel too -- and a date that features Pony on both alto and soprano sax! The latter instrument is especially nice, played with echoes of earlier Crescent City modes, but updated strongly with more of a modal 60s energy -- almost a Coltrane-like inspiration, but in very different ways than Trane might offer up. Other players on the date are great too -- and include Booker Ervin's tenor at is soulful 60s best, plus Gildo Mahones on piano, George Tucker on bass, and Jimmy Smith on drums -- all working with some very unusual rhythms that really make the set stand out from other Prestige dates of the time! Titles include "Happy Strut", "Gumbo Filet", "Front O Town", "Back O Town", "French Market", and "Creole Girl". But almost even better, the set also features 8 more bonus tracks -- all previously unissued! Three are from the sessions for Gumbo -- but the rest are from an unusual 1963 date that features the tenor of Booker Ervin with the organ of Larry Young and drums of Jerry Thomas -- a really cool small combo group in the vein of Young's early Prestige work. Additional titles include "Wade In The Water", "Autumn Leaves", "Old Folks", "You Don't Know What Love Is", "Absotively Posalutely", and "Blue & Sentimental".
© 1996-2010, Dusty Groove America, Inc

By Pier

1 comment:

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