Sunday, June 15, 2008

Leroy Vinnegar - "Glass Of Water" (1973)

Although he's here today because of the funky rhodes and wurlitzer on this album, bassist Leroy Vinnegar has gone down in history as the person who popularised the "walking bass" style in jazz, in which the bass player plays lines of quarter notes in steady 4/4 metre, at varying degrees of distance from the underlying harmony. This enables the bassist to create a countermelody to the soloist, while still supporting harmonic progression and providing a regular pulse. Don't you wish you'd done that?

Without doing a full bio - I know, my posts are getting longer - he worked with Les McCann for much of the 60s, so just check out this fantastic live video of McCann and Eddie Harris' 1969 "Compared to What", and if you want to go a bit deeper into his prolific, three-hundred album output, you could start with this name search at Call It Anything.

But one more - you really should check out this incredibly cool 1963 track called "Paco" by the Gerald Wilson Orchestra on the album "Portraits" - Vinnegar on bass, Chuck Carter on drums (who also features on today's album), as well as Joe Pass on guitar, and Harold Land in the sax section.

Our rhodes and wurlitzer man today is Dwight Dickerson, who also played on Vinnegar's other 70s album "The Kid", which has seen something of a revival after being sampled by DJ Shadow.

Dickerson's keyboard playing is also worth checking out on these other blogged albums : Bobby Hutcherson's essential "Inner Glow" (1975), Gene Ammon's "Free Again" (1972) - great brass section; key funky cut "Jaggin" - and Henry Franklin's post-Black-Jazz-but-still-spiritual "Tribal Dance" (1977) - killer cut "Cosmos Dwellers", but it's all good.

This album's a little rootsier than "The Kid" - no synths or guitars, a little more of a bluesy touch - Vinnegar worked on Jimmy Smith's "Bluesmith" just before this one. "Glass Of Water" is a bit like an early 70s Milestone album with some spacier rhodes layering. Best track here is the wonderful "Muffin Man", which I included on Rhodes compilation #6, but the rest of it's worth checking out as well.

Vinnegar and Dickerson worked together once more, on 1979's Bev Kelly Live at the Jazz Safari, together with Rudolph "Rudy" Johnson, who you may know from his Black Jazz releases.

Anyway, "Glass Of Water" was to be Vinnegar's last release as a leader for sixteen years, until 1993's "Walkin' the Basses". Hope you enjoy it.

Rapidshare link for Bobby Hutcherson's "Inner Glow" in this post originally uploaded by Bacoso at "Orgy in Rhythm". "Glass of Water" from Soulseek. 


01 "Twila"
02 "Funny Time" - (Jimmy Heath)
03 "Glass Of Water" - (L. Vinnegar)
04 "Damn! Somebody Stole my Pants" - (L. Vinnegar)
05 "My Romance" - (Rogers and Hart)
06 "Muffin Man" - (Hampton Hawes)
07 "Hey Mon"- (L. Vinnegar)


Leroy Vinnegar - bass
Dwight Dickerson - keyboards
Chuck Carter - drums
Micel Barrere - percussion


Label: Legend Records (LGS-1001)
Year of Release: 1973


pim_veenhuizen said...

great Post!! can't wait..
it's like you read my mind man.
thank you!!
much love and respect from amsterdam.

Jazz-Nekko said...


thanks for this oddity - one of the best west coast jazz bassists - and in a totally new light. good to dickerson again as well, as he played with bola sete that i know his music!

you are living up to your worthy title "666", and coming from one devil (albeit the okinawan devil) to another, keep it up!



Maro said...

AAAAAAoooow !!!

This is incredible.. thank you very much. I only knew his "the kid" Lp, but this one is very good too...

Tks a lot Simon.


E-mile said...

hi Simon, I'm with Maro (see above) on this one, good to have a chance to hear it's predecessor...
Thanks mate!
peace, E-mile

katonah said...

thought about walking away from this, then i clicked on muffin man.
sweet choice

Gianni said...

always GREAT postings simon!!!
I love you!!!!!

johnv said...

Another outstanding treat!

Anonymous said...

Nice post.......sample tracks are really groovy!! Appreciate it!!

Dr. Johnny Fever said...

Killer post Simon!! I was just getting ready to rip this one to post it myself. Thanks for saving me the labor. I really love this record!! I have met Leroy several times and used to go see him play here in Portland before he passed away. Truly one of the greats in the jazz world and also a really nice guy. Thanks for sharing the funky gospel of Mr. Vinnegar with the blogging community. Peace..........DJF

Simon666 said...

Thnx Dr johnny, and your blog is looking great.

If you had the time at all, could you possibly check the label and get a songwriting credit for Track 1 "Twila" ?
Also - and I know this is a big ask, when you're busy with your own blog - any chance of a back cover scan ? The low res one I have doesn't allow us to read the text (although the front cover one i've got is good) ...
Thanks for commenting in any case :)


Simon666 said...

... also i believe you have an actual annual "Leroy Vinnegar Day" in Portland ?

simonsee43 said...

Never heard of this chap..... loving it though!


Hanimex 3000 said...

waaaaaaaahhh. amazing riffs on this LP.

I've just discovered this wonderful, clever & soooooooooo necesssary blog dedicated to the mighty Rhodes piano...

can't believe it.
for sure THE idea of 2008 (not mine, though... bah)


Reza said...

excellent, not just the music but the education as well
thanks as always Simon

Dr. Johnny Fever said...

Hey Simon, here's a scan of the back cover, well actually it's a digital picture, our scanner is on the fritz. Hope you can read it good enough. All songs with the exception of "muffin man" and "my romance" are Vinnegar orginals. Glad to help you out with some knowledge. I have a post today I'll think you'll like, so keep an eye out........DJF

oui said...

this rip was on realityunit blogspot and could be one of andrew's original rips. to be confirmed.

Simon666 said...

Yes please do Oui.
I guess that's the danger of old 'peer-to-peers'. I've checked with Rodney again, and he downloaded it in April 2003 on Soulseek, if that helps for confirmation. I note that it's not on 'realityunit' now.

Will said...

dan man

great cover

thank you

Simon666 said...

and thanks dr Fever!

Simon666 said...

Have added Dr Fever's better back cover scan to the post itself, if any of you want to replace the one in the download, grab it from above or from the webpage

S1KS said...

never heard of this but it definately looks interesting.
cant wait to check it out, thanks.

Little Tony Negri said...

thanks! I was looking for this...:)

GII said...

Never heard of him.


Miles said...

i read with great interest, but the final selling point was seeing the song title, 'damn! somebody stole my pants!' that's rivaled only by 'i'm so scared of girls when they're good looking' from a k.clarke/f. boland date.

i've got gerald wilson 'portraits' (on yellow vinyl!), if you're still looking for it. drop me a line and let me know. i'd be happy to share it with you.

ish said...

Hey Simon I finally listened to this. Grabbed it a few days ago. Hot album! Muffin Man really says why it belongs on your blog.

thanks a lot!

heiku said...

Cheers, Simon. I've been really feeling this one!


taro nombei said...

nice, funky keyboards! I'll take this one over 'The Kid' any day.
much appreciated, Simon.

Bongholio Iglesias said...


Thanks for posting!

troods said...

And bringing up the rear in this comment section - just getting to know Vinegar and loving it. Thank you for your continued hard work (I know it's a labor of love.) One of my students, 23 years old, has no comprehension of the rationale for collecting albums instead of a bunch of songs downloaded to the ipod. Poor youth of today.....they miss the best things in life!

Hoochie Coochie man said...

Really looking forward to this one.. muffin man is a real killer!!

Thanks a lot again Simon!!

Simon666 said...

You're welcome Hoochie Coochie Man, and thanks to all other for comments :)

Ian Van Groove said...

Hi Simon, thought it was about time for a Vinnegar revival.
I'd had the Glass of Water rip for some time but didn't realise that it had been shared here,
(Should've guessed though).
I also first came across it floating somewhere in cyberspace.

Anyhow, I've linked MY POST to this one & until somebody else comes up with a new rip
or better still, a reissue, THIS remains the place to go!

Cheers, IVG

Simon666 said...

Thanks Ian! Have switched "The Kid" link in the post to your blog :)

SlimStew said...

thanks for the Leroy!

TFC said...

Thanks a lot!!!
Excellent LP and excellent blog! Thanks for the job you do!

gr8dane said...

Thanks very much.