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Late

Sonny Simmons: Rumasuma

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R-1761170-1598540606-4897.jpeg.jpg

Sonny Simmons: alto saxophone
Barbara Donald: trumpet
Mike Cohen: piano
Jerry Sealund: bass
Bill Pickens: bass
Billy Higgins: drums
recorded July 31 & August 1, 1969
Contemporary Studios, Los Angeles

1. Rumasuma
2. Back To The Apple
3. Reincarnation
4. For Posterity

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Have long wished for that to show up on CD.  That and 'Home' by Garty Bartz were the two I was most disappointed Fantasy missed in their massive CD reissue campaign in the 80's/90's.

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It’s on my wishlist but it is very rare unfortunately. Fantastic music and a very accessible one too.

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I have it on Contemporary vinyl - like it, it’s in the usual very good sound.

Odd that Fantasy never reissued it.

Edited by sidewinder

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6 hours ago, sidewinder said:

... it’s in the usual very good sound.

Discogs only lists "recorded at Contemporary Studios," but I wonder if Roy DuNann was the engineer (in 1969?). Lester Koenig produced.

This is prime Sonny Simmons, but the album, in my opinion, really belongs to Barbara Donald. Some of her finest solos. The ghost of Booker Little smiled during the recording.

MER58326535e42f790a30046c26b3ba9_simmons

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1 hour ago, Late said:

Discogs only lists "recorded at Contemporary Studios," but I wonder if Roy DuNann was the engineer (in 1969?). Lester Koenig produced.

This is prime Sonny Simmons, but the album, in my opinion, really belongs to Barbara Donald. Some of her finest solos. The ghost of Booker Little smiled during the recording.

MER58326535e42f790a30046c26b3ba9_simmons

I no longer have the vinyl, but do have "Burning Spears" on cd. That disc says Produced and recorded by Lester Koenig. John Koenig is on Facebook - try contacting him there.

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10 hours ago, Late said:

Discogs only lists "recorded at Contemporary Studios," but I wonder if Roy DuNann was the engineer (in 1969?). Lester Koenig produced.

 

Roy DuNann left Contemporary in the early 60s. The number of recordings with him as a sound engineer is surprisingly (and disappointingly) small.

The funny thing is that he started working for Koenig recording dixieland jazz (for the Good Time Jazz label). That's where his heart was. He didn't like at all the modern jazz that Koenig started recording for Contemporary. I remember from an interview I've read the question what his thoughts were when he was recording those historic first sessions of Ornette Coleman. His answer was something like: "I would have sent the boy home."

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3 hours ago, corto maltese said:

Roy DuNann left Contemporary in the early 60s.

Must be someone else then. Regardless, a good recording.

This album deserves to be better known. In the documentary posted above, there's a short clip where Simmons himself gets out his vinyl copy and talks about it. Oddly, Brewster's documentary makes little mention of Barbara Donald. The scene where Simmons locates the pecan tree in Louisiana (and disturbing site of Jim Crow violence) from his youth is moving.

Too bad Jonathan Horwich couldn't have reissued this album on International Phonograph, but what he did release is a small treasure.

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On 5/28/2021 at 7:34 AM, Late said:

In the documentary posted above, there's a short clip where Simmons himself gets out his vinyl copy and talks about it.

Just realized I didn't post any link to a documentary. Here it is. Simmons was indeed a last man standing.

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This is what Simmons fans need to watch:

 

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