N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 09/08/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This disc has Booker Ervin's name first on its cover & track listings, but this is the reissuer's sleight-of-hand. Tracks 1-8 are Pony Poindexter's _Gumbo!_ album, on which Ervin plays an entirely minor role (he gets brief solos on half the tracks). Poindexter is a capable if minor alto & soprano player hailing from New Orleans; the album is a tribute to his home town, & will appeal to those looking for good if undemanding soul-jazz. It has some nice work from Al Grey too.The next four tracks have no Ervin, just Poindexter....singing. I wouldn't buy the album for these tracks.The real reason to get this disc is the final 30 minutes--five tracks featuring Booker Ervin & the great organist Larry Young. The first is "Absotively Posalutely", miscredited to Poindexter--in fact it's "Backup", a Young tune recorded on his Blue Note album _Into Something_. This is followed by two takes of "You Don't Know What Love Is", then "Autumn Leaves" & "Old Folks". Though Jerry Thomas, the drummer on these tracks, isn't anything to write home about, they're still absorbing listens--"You Don't Know..." for instance has some challenging chording by Young to which Ervin responds perfectly. These precious 30 minutes of music are the real reason to buy this disc: it's likely only for completists, but the Ervin/Young material is certainly a welcome recovery. I just wish they'd paired it with something a little more interesting."
Rare Pony Poindexter and Larry Young
Michael Weil | 02/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD opens with the complete "Gumbo" LP, Pony Poindexter's attempt at expanding on the New Orleans music tradition in a modern way - a pretty offbeat idea in 1963. Poindexter was born in New Orleans in 1926 but moved to Okland when he was 15 - he always cherished his memories of growing up in this musical city and the stories about Buddy Bolden his grandfather told him. It's a great album - ***** - all performances feature concise on-point solos by all involved, tight arrangements, a good rhythm section and bridges the gap between entertaining latin/creole influences and jazz stylings successfully. An overlooked gem!
The next three tracks (9-11 - the tray cards mentions 4!) are leftovers from Poindexter's other Prestige LP "Plays the Big Ones", that would have deserved an OJC reissue with all four as bonus tracks - nice quartet jazz, Pony was a solid player with his own style and a soprano sax pioneer still worth listening. And he was a good vocalist, as "Moody's Mood" here shows. I'd give them ****
The remaining tracks are an unissued session organist Larry Young made in 1963 - his last for the label, and not entirely successful. One expects fireworks from the pairing of young and energetic tenor Booker Ervin, but somehow things don't jell as much as one expects. Ervin digs in on the first track, but Don Patterson was a better match for him - well, Patterson had a better drummer when he recorded with Ervin. It all sounds under-rehearsed - Ervin and Young are not really together. Consequently, Young takes the heads all by himself on the ballads. Still one hears the transition Young was about to make to become a highly original Hammond stylist on his Blue Note sessions (from 1964) - he was not yet fully into his own in 1963. This gets only *** and is only for Young completists.
A mixed bag, but worth getting if you are seriously into the work of any of the players featured."