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Sonny Simmons: Rumasuma


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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 11/20/2022 at 11:53 AM, soulpope said:

This album is a Barbara Donald showcase ....

Yeah I still remember I heard her playing the first time on his ESP work. I thought I was listening to some well known postbopper to found out it was Donald. I didn’t knew of her yet. Fantastic trumpeter.

Edited by Pim
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7 hours ago, JSngry said:

In place of Freddie or in place of Dewey?

Or in addition to both of them?

She could have subbed in for either, but—yes!—a third trumpet would also fit the bill.

Donald really was one of the finest "out" trumpet players of the period. Or any period.

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12 hours ago, JSngry said:

In place of Freddie or in place of Dewey?

Or in addition to both of them?

 

5 hours ago, Late said:

She could have subbed in for either, but—yes!—a third trumpet would also fit the bill.

Donald really was one of the finest "out" trumpet players of the period. Or any period.

I think you could have subbed either for her, and possibly someone else like Hannibal, Alan Shorter or Don Cherry. I think that in the context they'd all have been an improvement. The trumpet playing is one of the weaker points of that record.

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