Cy Einhorn

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Pianist Cy Einhorn slipped through the cracks, or between the keys, as various discographical scholars conducted research on jazz musicians of the '40s and '50s, from the famous to the obscure. After…
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Pianist Cy Einhorn slipped through the cracks, or between the keys, as various discographical scholars conducted research on jazz musicians of the '40s and '50s, from the famous to the obscure. After all, Einhorn didn't really play jazz, although one of the musicians sitting alongside him at a recording session could easily have been a famous jazz player, such as drummer Panama Francis. Einhorn was part of a group of New York studio musicians active during these decades, many of them simply filling the demand for more and more light, slightly jazzy vocal group music in the style of the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots. Out of this activity came doo wop, R&B, soul, and of course rock & roll -- all at once, and in no particular order.

This pianist was a member of the Park Lane Trio, a studio rhythm section nominally led by multi-instrumentalist and recording fiend Andy Sannella. By the mid-'40s, Einhorn was either a substitute or a replacement for pianist Frank Signorelli in this group, either situation possible in an organization that was loose at best. In a biography of producer Joe Davis, writer Bruce Bastin describes a typical situation in which Einhorn at least came out with a credit at the end of the day, unlike at least one of his associates: "The pianist was Cy Einhorn and Davis never did find out who played bass -- or at least he never bothered to write down the name."

Recordings featuring the Park Lane Trio, backing singers such as George "Bon Bon" Tunnell and Millicent Scott, are sometimes mixed up with the Park Avenue Trio, a side project of popular doo wop group the Five Red Caps. Overlapping musical relationships between different members are part of a puzzle that has sent some discographers out for a fresh supply of headache powder. A series of records credited to the Park Avenue Trio actually featured the Park Lane Trio backing up Tunnell, who in turn was an associate of Romaine Brown, a member of both the Five Red Caps and the Park Avenue Trio.