Don Cinderella

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In a fairy tale version of jazz, every instrumental soloist would have a sibling who plays bass, tuned in by instinct and ready to follow every creative move as if joined at the hip. Some of these relationships…
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In a fairy tale version of jazz, every instrumental soloist would have a sibling who plays bass, tuned in by instinct and ready to follow every creative move as if joined at the hip. Some of these relationships do actually exist, not only in jazz, to the point where the term "brother groups" was coined in old-timey music and bluegrass to identify ensembles in which family blood runs thick. Don Cinderella is the bassist brother of guitarist Joe Cinderella; both boys were inspired to play music by their father, a banjoist as well as a toiler in the publishing end of the music business. Neither Cinderella would be presented with the equivalent of a glass slipper for audacious presence on the scene. Joe Cinderella, however, has continued to establish a name for himself as both a performer and instructor of jazz guitar, finally releasing a recording under his own name in 2002.

Don Cinderella, on the other hand, seems to have dropped out of the music business entirely sometime in the late '60s. Discographies of jazz recording activity have tracked him to three sessions in the first half of that decade. One of these involves backing up the obscure jazz singer Jacy Parker, who created one album for Verve entitled Spotlight on Jacy Parker. The bassist is heard here as part of a rhythm section that also features the well-prepared drummer Sticks Evans. Another rare LP featuring the bassist was a jazz piano session highlighting the tinkling of keyboard maestro Jack Gamba. As for actually collaborating with his brother, a 1959 tour with saxophonist Gil Melle featured both brothers in the band.