Allen Houser -- Trumpet
Buck Hill -- Tenor Saxophone
Vince Genova -- Piano
Steve Novosel -- Ampeg Bass
Mike Smith -- Drums
Terry Plumeri -- Arco Acoustic Bass Solos
In the late 1960's I was playing trumpet in a Latin Jazz band let by Julio Miranda and directed, musically, by Maria Rodriguez. We played local clubs, dances, embassy parties, and gave concerts. Twice we recorded albums in New York. These albums were never released.
I decided I had to produce my own music. I called tenor man Buck Hill, whose last recording was with Charlie Byrd in the mid-1950's. Steve Novosel agreed to play bass. Besides recording and touring with Rashaan Roland Kirk, his playing credits range from Red Norvo to Milt Jackson, Sweets Edison to Charles Toliver. Al Gray & Cedar Walton. He recommended that I contact Andrew White (of Coltrane Legacy fame and independent record producer, today, of over 40 recordings). Andrew was a helpful guide on how to proceed with the project. I asked the drummer Mike Smith to play the date. Mike has played with Steve Kuhn, Charlie Haden, Bob Mintzer, and Toots Thielman, to name just a few of many first-rate jazz musicians who have called him. Terry Plumeri was added as a second bass player to offer his unique Arco-bass soloing to the group. Terry was introducing a completely original approach. A few years later, he recorded several albums under his own name, Mike Smith on drums, with the likes of Herbie Hancock and John Abrcrombie. I first heard Vince Genova when he was with the Eddie Henderson Quintet at the Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. Joe Clark was the tenor saxophonist (see Looking Back ARS004) and Mike Smith was on drums.
This album was licensed to Bomba Records, Tokyo, Japan in 1994.
"He WRITES, ...HE PLAYS "
Allen Houser/No Samba/ Straight Ahead Records By Henry Rock (October 1977)
It seems a bit peculiar, doesn't it, that some of the very best in recorded jazz is also some of the most difficult to get a hold of...
Not all of the time does it pay off (self-producing artists) but it has given rise to an increasingly popular sort of record company, the independent or "indie."
Houser is concerned about music in the straight-ahead idiom...
One tune you may find rather fresh and crisp is, "Cousin Rae's 3 Step" (by pianist Cotton Kent). This is the shortest of the compositions on the album, and on this one he employs a bit of electronic expansion, with taste, mind you.
A couple of other pieces, "Mexico" and the title tune, "No Samba" are sweet Latin flavored numbers. "Mexico," in particular, features some fine piano work by Vince Genova and an Arco-bass solo from Terry Plumeri, one of its leading innovators. The Arco-bass...as in this piece has a lingering, haunting kind of sound to it. I think you'll find it rather interesting. The other session bassist ...is Steve Novosel, who's been working as Andrew White's bass man.
All in all, this is an album with some well defined ensemble playing and the solo artists fit Allen Houser's musical concepts of what straight-ahead is. By the way, lend an ear to drummer, Mike Smith. No Samba can be a most worthy addition to your jazz collection, so by all means. (No.1: I'd buy it)
"Good, good music. Monster bowing bassist you've got there. Hope you're on a bandstand with them instead of a bank."
187 Bowery NYC
P.S. I owe you $50.00 which I don't have (now) and I still do our song "Winehead."