Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars: Double or Nothin’ (1957)

sub-titled: Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars host Charlie Persip and His Jazz Statesmen
AKA: Lighthouse Series volume one

Double or Nothin' 1

Track list:

01. Reggie of Chester
02. Stabelmates
03. Celedia
04. Moto
05. The Champ
06. Blues After Dark
07. Wildwood
08. Quicksilver
+bonus track (*not on original LP)
09. Bye Bye Blues [*]


Lee Morgan – trumpet (1,6,7)
Conte Candoli – trumpet (3,7)
Frank Rosolino – trombone (3,7)
Benny Golson – tenor sax (1,6,7)
Bob Cooper – tenor sax (3,7)
Wynton Kelly – piano
Wilfred Middlebrooks – bass (1,3,7)
Red Mitchell – bass (6)
Charlie Persip – drums

Lee Morgan – trumpet (2,4)
Conte Candoli – trumpet (4,5,8,9)
Frank Rosolino – trombone
Benny Golson – tenor sax (2,4)
Bob Cooper – tenor sax (4,5,8,9)
Dick Shreve – piano
Red Mitchell – bass
Stan Levey – drums

Order of Soloists:
#1: Morgan, Golson, Kelly, Persip
#2: Golson, Rosolino, Morgan, Shreve, Mitchell
#3: Cooper, Candoli, Rosolino, Kelly
#4: Golson, Cooper, Rosolino, Candoli, Morgan, Shreve
#5: Cooper, Candoli, Rosolino, Shreve, Mitchell, Levey
#6: Morgan, Golson, Mitchell, Kelly, Persip
#7: Golson, Cooper, Rosolino, Candoli, Morgan, Kelly
#8: Shreve, Cooper, Rosolino, Candoli, Mitchell, Shreve
#9: Cooper, Rosolino, Candoli, Shreve

Recorded: “Lighthouse Club”, Hermosa Beach, CA;
#2,4,5,8,9: February 14, 1957
#1,3,6,7: February 27, 1957
Released: 1957
Label: Liberty
LRP 3045 [mono]
LST-7014 [1958, stereo (Celedia + Wildwood not on stereo issue)]

Producer: Howard Rumsey
Engineer: Ted Keep

Liner Notes: Howard Rumsey

Double or Nothin' 2

also issued as: Howard Rumsey Presents… Conte Candoli & Lee Morgan: Double or Nothin’
Label: Fresh Sound Records
FSR-CD 197 [1992, CD]
FSR-CD 332 [2003, CD]

Photography: Stan Levey


Double or Nothin’ promises a creative East Coast-meets-West Coast musical confrontation, but never delivers.

Ace trumpet men Conte Candoli, based in California, and Philly-born Lee Morgan, then making his first impression on the jazz world, headline this 1957 session that grew out of a Charlie Persip gig at the legendary Pacific Coast club the Lighthouse.

These two all-star groups belie the assumptions made at the time about the differences between the East and West Coast sounds (with underlining racial assumptions).

Both trumpet players draw heavily on Dizzy Gillespie for inspiration, and both saxophonists (Benny Golson and Bob Cooper) are more indebted to swing master Lester Young than to any bebop saxophonist.

Indeed, the contrast between the two is one of the pleasures of the session.

Golson’s lines are blurry and oblique, while Cooper’s are finely etched and to-the-point.

Both are also more noted for their writing skills, which are also on display here.

Though the listener may expect such a jam session would feature usual blowing vehicles, here the music is largely original or of more recent vintage (though two [Golson’s “Stablemates” and Horace Silver’s “Quicksilver”] were destined to become standards).

While the repertoire is refreshing, it leads to tentative performances on the tracks in which the two groups interact.

The solos have awkward pauses between phrases, and loquacious soloists such as Morgan and trombonist Frank Rosolino rely on pet turns of phrase.

The strongest playing comes on the tracks when the Morgan group and the Lighthouse All-Stars play as separate units.

Morgan’s promise shines through on the opener, “Reggie of Chester,” and the All-Stars dig in for their strongest playing on the closing standard “Bye Bye Blues,” in a classy setting that has the hallmarks of the Cooper arrangement.
~David Dupont[]


Lighthouse Series volume one: LRP-3045/LST-7014 – Double or Nothin’ – Howard Rumsey [1957] Originally released in mono, the stereo version of this album was issued in 1958. Reggie Of Chester/Stablmates/Moto/Champ/Blues After Dark/Quicksilver/Celedia (not on stereo issue)/Wildwood (not on stereo issue)

Lighthouse Series volume two: LRP-3051 – Tenors Head-On – Bill Perkins & Richie Kamuca [1957]

vol 2 [tenors head-on]

Lighthouse Series volume three: LRP-3064 – Drummin’ the Blues – Max Roach & Stan Levy & Harold Rumsey’s Allstars [1958] Facts About Max/Milano Blues/Swingin’ The Blues/Count’s Blues/Breadline Blues/Bye Bye Blues/Blues In The Night/Royal Garden Blues

vol 3 [drummin' the blues]

LRP-3292/LST-7292 – Jazz Montage – Various Artists [1963] Facts About Max – Max Roach/Yesterdays – Virgil Gonsalves/5 Brothers – Rumsey Lighthouse All Stars/Wildwood Champ – Rumsey Lighthouse All Stars/Get Out of Town/Mad about the Boy – Red Norvo/Bye Bye Blues – Levey