The generous jazz collector Sonny McGown keeps surprising me: first with that lovely candid shot of Barbara Lea and Johnny Mince, now with this — a disc that isn’t playable at the moment but may be restored in the near future.

It made me catch my breath at the computer, because not only is it a live 1951 recording of Miss Leacock with the great pianist Larry Eanet, it also features the irreplaceable and (to my mind) under-recorded trumpeter Frank Newton.  In 1951.

I knew he had spent much of his last half-decade in Boston, and had read about concerts he had played in, gigs he had done — both from Manfred Selchow’s encyclopedic studies of Ed Hall and Vic Dickenson as well as the recollections of Leroy “Sam” Parkins — but I never expected to see this:

If that isn’t something to dream about in 2012, I don’t know.  Thanks, Sonny!

7 responses to “IMAGINE THIS!

  1. Ross Firestone

    So nice to see two mentions of Larry Eanet in the past two days. He was one of my oldest and dearest friends, and I’ve been a huge fan of his piano playing since we attended junior high school together back in Washington, DC. He had also picked up a bit of valve trombone to flll out the front line in the Crimson Stompers, buying the horn at Manny’s Music that Wilber DeParis had ordered but never got around to picking up. Larry told me that Frankie Newton was working as a superintendent in an apartment house, living in the basement that was filled with books and magazines advancing progressive causes. I have heard elsewhere that following a falling out with John Hammond that is best left undiscussed, Hammond kept him from being hired in New York. so he moved to Boston and took a job as a janitor. Hard to believe that such a great player was virtually abandoned like this. On a happier note, let me recommend the CD “Let’s Do It” that Larry and Barbara recorded with Billy Butterfield, Vic Dickenson and Johnny Mince after a Manassas Jazz Festival. It’s a lovely piece of work. For more of Larry’s piano, let me also recommend the quartet date he diid on Arbors and the two solo albums on Jump. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I did the notes on these last three, but only because I wanted to.

  2. Larry was a lovely serious player: he is much missed at Jazz at Chautauqua! And the stories of Frank Newton being slighted by Hammond are not hard to imagine; there is a sad photograph of Newton playing his horn next to the boiler in the basement of that building: photo by Weegee, once reprinted in Art Hodes’ JAZZ RECORD of blessed memory.

  3. Let me add a little to Ross’s comments. Larry Eanet was one of those half discovered talents. He undertook the study of medicine under pressure from his parents. I know because, like Ross, I was a long time friend of Larry’s. We played together in the Roosevelt High School band in Washington and were close to the last. In fact there were many musicians in that band who went on as professionals, including Gene Brusiloff, a well known studio musician in New York until his death. Larry played with some of the best known mainstream musicians of the day including Jimmy Crawford, Ed Hall and Vic Dickenson in Boston while in college and continued jobbing from then on recording in later years as a soloist, band member and leader as he was in l983 when he led a group at the Manassas Jazz Festival that produced ( on the side ) a studio recording featuring Barbara Lea to which Ross Firestone referred .
    The band included Johny Mince, Dickenson Billy Butterfield and Tommy Cecil, along with Barbara, To this day it is a gorgeous performance and was the last session Vic Dickenson recorded. He was a world class jazz pianist who, even though he left a sizable collection of recordings, never received the recognition he would have had he followed the life of music, his first love.

  4. Kevin Roberts sent this to Shiraz Socialist’s comments box:

    I plan to broadcast 2 hours of Barbara Lea on Thursday Jan 5 from 8-10 PM eastern time on WRPI-FM 91.5 (Troy, NY, next to Albany). If the webstream is working you can get there at

    The station has a strong signal (10,000 watts) but we have had occasional transmitter problems, so if there is a problem, I hope to reschedule.

    I will probably focus this program on the early Riverside and Prestige recordings and the earlier period of Audiophile recordings (late 1970′s to early 80′s). I have the later recordings, but I just broadcast a special on Barbara’s later period in the past year and prefer to play the earleir period for this show. Unfortunately, I did not record that show (it can be difficult to
    run everything).

  5. It is stupendous to learn about this! I am at the edge of my chair with anticipation!!


  7. Pingback: Frankie Newton 2b - JHO2

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