Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
275

Booker Ervin & Pony Poindexter: Gumbo!

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count Views
A strange combination of sorts, this release gathers two disparate sessions whose only apparent common denominator is the incredible Booker Ervin. Ervin’s name on the bill should be a signal to most jazz fans that the contents contained herein are worthy of their attention. The added bonuses are many as well and include a brief, but tantalizing meeting between the Texas tenor titan and forward-thinking organist Larry Young.

Poindexter is something of an enigma. He never really made it big beyond his hometown of New Orleans, but based on his intriguing work collected here it’s difficult to discern why. Matching an equal facility on soprano and alto with a deep passion for hard bop and Dixieland, Poindexter opted for a program of tunes that would conjure the sights and sounds of his birthplace. Grey’s tailgate trombone and Ervin’s booting sax help him toward these ends and the rhythm section fronted by bop scholar Gildo Mahones keeps things moving at a percolating pace. A mystery conga player is also attendance beginning on the soulful “Creole Girl” which tips its hat to the Herbie Hancock-inspired 60s sound. “4-11-44” continues along the same path and is awash in gris-gris grooves compliments again of the rhythm section and most noticeably Tucker’s thick-fingered bass lines. Tucker’s taut figures also shine on the rousing rendition of “Wade In the Water” which takes the session out. Several of the tracks including “Moody’s Mood” feature Poindexter’s vocals, which are fairly forgettable in comparison to his musicianship.

The Larry Young session appended to the end of the disc is as frustrating as it is revelatory. The frustration comes with the brevity of the meeting, a mere four tracks and one alternate, but what’s included is by and large well worth hearing. The date predates Young’s ascendancy to the title of ‘Coltrane of the organ,” but his dense, meaty lines still push the envelope at this early stage and goad Ervin into some thrilling solo passages. Thomas gives sufficient, if sometimes clunky, support and the three burn through the handful of tunes with a surefooted groove in tow. Though this disc does consist of a rather bizarre match of sessions the music is uniformly entertaining and should be investigated, particularly by listeners who harbor an appreciation for Ervin.

Collective


Track Listing: Front O

Personnel:

Collective Booker Ervin- tenor saxophone; Pony Poindexter- alto & soprano saxophones, vocals; Al Grey- trombone; Gildo Mahones- piano; George Tucker- bass; Jimmie Smith- drums. Larry Young- organ; Jerry Thomas- drums.

| Record Label: Prestige Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

My Blue Note Obsession
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
[no cover]
Booker 'n' Brass
Lone Hill Jazz
2011
buy
The Freedom Book
The Freedom Book
Prestige Records
2007
buy
Tex Book Tenor
Tex Book Tenor
Blue Note Records
2005
buy
[no cover]
Gumbo!
Lone Hill Jazz
1999
buy
[no cover]
The Freedom And Space...
Lone Hill Jazz
1979
buy
[no cover]
Down In The Dumps
Lone Hill Jazz
1978
buy
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Cedar Walton Cedar Walton
piano
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Joe Lovano Joe Lovano
saxophone
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Dexter Gordon Dexter Gordon
sax, tenor
Joe Henderson Joe Henderson
sax, tenor
Ben Webster Ben Webster
sax, tenor

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.