Pony Poindexter

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Gumbo! Review

by Rob Ferrier

This record is largely representative of the state of jazz in 1963 -- in other words, a picture of a music in stasis. Barring the continuing explosion that was the John Coltrane quartet, jazz as a medium had largely expended its energy. Thus, we get records like this: competent and occasionally inspired readings based on classic blues forms. Music that isn't quite dead, but doesn't break any ground. That being said, the record itself is quite enjoyable, full of bluesy testifying akin to the efforts of Bobby Timmons or any of the serviceable hard bop quartets then storming about New York. A word of note: Booker Ervin is on the record, but those expecting to hear the fierce combative tenor that graces his own records will be disappointed. This is music that defines straight-ahead: never boring, but never quite intriguing either.

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