Pony Poindexter Gumbo (1963) Prestige


Selection 1: Creole Girl (Poindexter)

Selection 2: French Market (Poindexter)

Encore: (Hat tip Dean) : Gumbo Filet


Al Grey (trb) Pony Poindexter (ss, as) Booker Ervin (ts) Gildo Mahones (p) George Tucker (b) Jimmie Smith (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, June 27, 1963

Poindexter Pocket Bio: Brought up in New Orleans, Norwood (“Pony”) Poindexter revisits his roots in this recording peppered with references Louisiana’ distinctive Cajun and Creole culture,  originating from its unique  Spanish, French and West African cultural heritage. As with many saxophonists, the clarinet was his first instrument before switching to alto and tenor. Poindexter spent much of the Fifties working in big bands, including a spell with Stan Kenton, Billy Eckstine and Lionel Hampton .He was one of the first bebop saxophonists to play soprano saxophone early in the 1960s, joined a few years later by  one John Coltrane.

43827[1]I first came across Poindexter on the excellent “Alto Summit” with Leo Wright,  Phil Woods and  Lee Konitz (released on MPS) His best known recording remains “Pony Express”, famed for the dazzling array of big name musicians – one I only ever see as a reissue .

In 1963 along with many other American jazz musicians Poindexter moved to Paris; where recorded with other expatriates Phil Woods, Lee Konitz and Leo Wright.  He later moved to Spain and then to Mannheim, Germany, and after some years, returned to San Francisco, languishing in relative obscurity until his death in 1988.


A rare 1963 Prestige album with Poindexter leading a creative combination with  Booker Ervin, who  plays more straight-ahead than on his exploratory “Book” sessions. His distinctive Coltrane-like biting tone contrasts well with Poindexter’s bluesy soprano dancing in the upper registers.  The rhythm section provides a solid foundation without holding back Poindexter’s jaunty compositions, which happily fuse  latin / creole influences with jazz stylings. An overlooked gem! (Pause, forest of hands go up at the back of the class)

Please Sir, we all have the Evil Silver Disc,Sir, with bonus tracks, Sir.

Class dismissed – err, not you lot at the back, remain seated. You are all in detention, starting now, each write 100 lines, “Bonus tracks are the work of the Devil”.

Vinyl:  US Prestige PR 16001 = New Jazz NJLP 8297 (not released) mono.

Slated originally for release on the New Jazz label, for some unknown reason it was never issued and appeared for the first time on the  Prestige 16000 series, the first of only eight  titles in that series..



Collector’s Corner:

Source: West London record store

Fortunately there were several dozen copies of this rare title in the shop, covering all permutations of condition between mint and fair, in both mono and stereo, at a range of prices to suit all pockets. Err no, you didn’t believe that did you. There was just the one, I’ve never seen it before or since, and the condition is what it is, take it or leave it.

Though the vinyl condition less than perfect, the music remains well on top and the new TKR cartridge is making considerable strides in de-emphasising faults. Its’ stylus is line contact, a fiendishly expensive micro-engineering design that digs  deeper down into the groove than a conventional and a hundred times cheaper stylus. (Typically, that used in making these rips)  The vinyl wall towards the bottom of the groove is all-but impervious to surface damage above, giving the stylus superior contact with the profile originally left by the cutting lathe, de-emphasising any later groove-wear, and scratches, which are often consigned to a mere passing tick  which though audible, does not interrupt the flow of the music, which clings to your attention like a limpet.

And you thought it was about poncy audiophile jewellery.

20 thoughts on “Pony Poindexter Gumbo (1963) Prestige

  1. Rudolf writes: Obviously I have been on 6 for Main and mirror. I did not know that, but now I see and understand. If you bear with me, one last question: would you rather suggest 3 for the main and say 15 (or 6) for the mirror or vice versa? And what are the (dis)advantages of each approach? It is obvious that by differentiating one increases the chances: in the last seconds 3 is better than 6.

    LJC replies: in general, a bid closest to auction close is best, 3 seconds, because you reveal your hand when it is too late for other “manual” bidders to respond and leapfrog your snipe. I can’t see an advantage in splitting the timing.

    A tip: You can increase your chance of beating snipers by both sniping AND bidding manually yourself at one second ( not always reliable – response time of servers can freeze your bid out as too late!) Let Gixen shoot at 15 seconds, smoking out most of the hidden competing bids. If you previously have set up say three manual bids, and add an “increase offer” to each for different amounts – say $100, $200 and $300 but hold back the “confirm” click – as the price escalates in closing seconds you can control which one of these three you fire off at one second, having seen where the price is appearing to finish.

    Its not guaranteed, because an XXL bidder will always win, but it gives you some control in the closing seconds, prevents you losing because your snipe turns out set too low.

    Apparently this is “fun”, but my medication doesn’t permit so much excitement nowadays.


    • Many thanks yours. In my experience, manual bidding is nerve wrecking. If I get you right, you advise one 15 seconds bid to smoke out the hidden bids and then manual, which I will replace by a 3 seconds snipe.( I just cannot do it manually!). Can you confirm that it is without any importance from whether the final snipe comes from main or mirror?


  2. Although I’m an avid collector of the evil silver disk including bonus tracks, I have to agree to a certain extent with your quote that “bonus tracks are the work of the devil”. I’m referring to the ‘milking practices’ of today’s record companies. Jimi Hendrix anyone? Released three albums before he died; ever since that time there have been 12 (!!!) more. Same goes for a certain Mr Presley, not to mention Dylan, The Stones, etc etc. All to milk every last penny out of the true fans, although in most cases it’s music that should have stayed where it was: in the vault.

    However in case of -especially- Blue Note, I have to strongly disagree, since many of the bonus tracks presented on their CD reissues consist of genuine album cuts that were usually omitted of the final release due to time restrictions of the LP and not because it was bad music, not to mention the fact that Alfred Lion was notorious for shelving complete studio sessions that, granted, first appeared on a few limited edition vinyl reissues, but were later on easily obtainable for the masses through the evil silver disk. A few must have examples: Tina Brooks’ posthumously released studio albums, Fred Jackson’s Hootin’ ‘n’ Tootin’ CD that contains a full ‘bonus’ album after the original album tracks are done and Dizzie Reece’s Comin’ On CD. All bonus material, but crikey is it good! 😛


        • Mattyman: I think it was you who gave me the name of GIXEN sniper service. I would need your (and others’) advise.
          My question: does the sniper service execute orders for bids, how weird they may seem? For instance: a record is actually at 11 dollars and would normally sell for, say 100 to 110. Now, in order to be more than 100% sure, I give a snipe of just over 1000. I do want the record at any price. Will that work?? Will they execute?
          Don’t ask me which record is at stake!


          • Matty can answer himself, but I recommend Gixen, and use it myself, and I subscribe to the twin-server option ($6 a year) as I have been let down by other free sniping services that fail to bid on a crucial auction (Goofbay)

            I have some advice on Ebay sniping tactics here (section 12. Bidding tactics)

            Gixen will execute your command – $1,000 or $10,000, whatever at your chosen number of seconds before close, unless that bid is below the current highest offer, in which case you will receive an automatic notice by email that your bid is under latest asking price, and it will take no action, you lose.

            Ebay will set the final selling price according to the bid increment above the 2nd highest bidder. If you bid $1,000 to be certain, and someone else bids $990, you will be hit for the whole $1,000. There are other professional dealers who are XXL bidders like Disk Union, so I advise never bid more than you are happy to pay. A high bid of twice what it is worth ($200 in your example) is usually a successful compromise, unless you want it at any price, but can still lose.

            The winning bid must be at least one increment above the second highest bid to win. A few times now my bid has been higher but only by a dollar or two and I have lost to the lower bidder.

            Still it beats playing roulette.


            • Thank you Andrew, Your advise is very helpful. There is one thing I did not understand:”…whatever at your chosen number of seconds” What do you mean by that? I am using Gixen (twin server option) but I did not know one can choose the seconds. How? There is a risk if one chooses too sharp I would say. Please advise. Thank you in advance…


              • Gixen/ account/settings allows you to preset the number of seconds before bid-close your snipe will be executed.The default is three seconds and the maximum is fifteen. Each of your two snipes can be executed at different times, though only the one same amount. You can set one server to 15 seconds the other to 3 seconds. (don’t worry, you can’t bid against yourself!)

                People bid at different times and there is often a Bid Increase you can’t see – you never know what is out there out of sight. If you bid early (15 seconds) you can flush out some of the other hidden bids. If you execute at the last second, you have no chance to increase your bid if you are a loser. On occasions I have a manual XXL bid on hand if I am a knockout on the preset snipes.

                The biggest disadvantage o fbidding in the last few seconds is that if you are below the current price in those seconds, Gixen will do nothing. Happened to me the other week. Eventually the winner failed to pay up, and the seller gave a second chance to the second highest bidder. Because Gixen doesn’t attempt to place a “losing” bid, my snipe did not appear as second highest bidder. So I was never offered a second chance. It went to someone else. Grrrr.

                At the end of the day, the one prepared to pay most always wins. No tactics can beat that, but they can help you win if its a close run thing.


                • Thanks, this is becoming a science. I lost recently a record and Gixen said in the report “you were outsniped”. When I looked at the bidding history, this winner came two seconds after me and his bid was higher. I found a logic to that. But his higher bid was only part of the reason that I lost.
                  So minimum is three seconds, I understand. And one can set two timings for the Chicago resp.Miami operation. Interesting..
                  I must go on my Gixen account and try to find out things by myself. I just moved to dual service at the $ 6 rate and noticed that something had changed in the settings, but I did not bother to find out details.
                  Thanks again Andrew. I will be back if I still have questions.


                  • Obviously I have been on 6 for Main and mirror. I did not know that, but now I see and understand. If you bear with me, one last question: would you rather suggest 3 for the main and say 15 (or 6) for the mirror or vice versa? And what are the (dis)advantages of each approach? It is obvious that by differentiating one increases the chances: in the last seconds 3 is better than 6.


                    • The WordPress “nesting” of comments is getting toothin, so I will bump reply to a full comment top of post)


  3. I found this a deceiving album. It is mostly the tedious soprano. Not much Booker and, Ervin can be heard elsewhere in much better form, with Mingus or on his own Candid and Bethlehem/Parlophone albums. The “spicey” compositions are very average, the vinyl is not Prestige’s best. I sold my copy for good money recently. Mine did not have that Prestige sticker on the rear.
    The Epic Poney Express album is as deceiving, the big names (Dolphy i.a.) remain names, no firework.
    Not a detention boy from the outstart, I deserve hard labour now?


      • Well I’m a big fan of Gumbo Filet, which was a very big record on the jazz dance scene about 20 years ago.
        So thumbs up from me on this blog entry LJC


        • Thank heavens, Dean! You’ve saved “Pony” from ending up in a “Beef” Lasagne ready-meal!
          He’s kindly agreed an encore, of Gumbo Filet (bonus selection now in the post)


    • Eric is one of my Gods: re names-no fireworks, there’s another Prestige with Dolphy where he doesn’t solo, 7206, Eddie Lockjaw Davis Trane Whistle and more, Candid 8015, Abbey Lincoln Straight Ahead. Not to mention a Sammy Davis Decca 8981, I gotta right to swing. I know he is there, but….


  4. Another nice find, LJC. But I’m going to admit to a problem here. I find the sound of the soprano sax very wearing to listen to, almost irrespective of who is playing it. I try and try, but that’s how it is. I love the creole/latin styling a, however.

    I’ll go over with the other detention boys, shall I, sir?


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