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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Introducing Gus Mancuso


Brother Aintz

Introducing Gus Mancuso
Fantasy 3233

Featuring Bill Douglass, Eddie Duran, Vince Guaraidi, Richie Kamuca, Cal Tjader, Gerry Riggings & Eugene Wright

I'm Glad There Is You," "The Ruble And The Yen," "Goody Goody" recorded in Hollywood in June 1956. Personnel: Gus Mancuso, Baritone Horn; Gerald Wiggins, Piano; Gene Wright, Bass and Bill Douglass, Drums.

"Ev'ry Time," "By The Way," "How Do You Like Your Eggs In The Morning," "Every Time We Say Goodbye," recorded in San Francisco in November 1956. Personnel: Gus Mancuso, Baritone Horn; Eddie Duran, Guitar; Gene Wright, Bass and Cal Tjader, Drums.

"Brother Aintz," "And Baby Makes Three," "Hatful Of Dandruff," recorded in San Francisco, November 1956. Personnel: Gus Mancuso, Baritone Horn; Vince Guaraldi, Piano; Gene Wright, Bass, Cal Tjader, drums and Rickie Kamuca, Tenor Sax.

From the back cover: Ronald Bernard "Gus" Mancuso is a 23 year old Rochester, N.Y. musician who make his solo debut on this album. Gus (and no reader of the Sporting News will have to be told why Ronald Bernard became Gus) has chosen the grave, mellow-tone baritone horn for his major instrument despite the fact that he also plays divers instruments including the piano, bass, trumpet, trombone and vibes. He also sings (baritone). To the best of my knowledge he is the first jazz musician to specialize in the baritone horn and I must say the results are impressive.

It's not at all surprising that Gus doubles on so many instruments. The Mancusos are a musical (and large) family and al the six brothers have been musicians. Gus himself began as a drummer when he was only 11 and then switched to trombone. He actually picked up on the baritone horn in the Army when he played it in a Army Band.

Aside from his multiple-playing ability (just consider the possibility of a multiple tape recording of Gus playing all his instruments accompanying himself singing!) he also arranges and composes, and one of his own tunes is in this album.

Cal Tjader, the young San Francisco bandleader whose mambo jazz group has become one of the most successful in the country, plays drums on this album. Tjader, a Down Beat New Star Award winner on vibes is usually known for his work on that instrument and his earlier efforts in the rhythm section have been forgotten (though such diverse musicians as Andre Previn and Charlie Mingus still number him among their favorite drummers). 

When the Tjader group was playing at Las Vegas, Cal encountered Gus "playing piano on night, bass the next and then baritone horn." Cal recalls, "Then, while he was with a vocal group at the New Frontier where we were appearing he used to jam with us from 4 to 6 in the morning and it was great.

On his return to San Francisco, Tjader told Fantasy about Gus and the result was the series of three sessions, one in Los Angeles and two in San Francisco, which display Mancuso's outstanding wailing ability on this unusual horn. – Ralph J. Gleason

From Billboard - March 20, 1957: Jazz via baritone horn as played by newcomer Gus Mancuso is an interesting adventure into the remarkable avenues taken by indie Fantasy. It's good jazz too, beyond the commendation for lack of conformity, with a stellar group of sidemen accompanying Mancuso with equal inventiveness and imagination. Tracks are standard and should get good disk jockey play.

I'm Glad There Is You
Brother Aintz (Mancuso)
Ev'ry Time
The Ruble And The Yen
By The Way
And Baby Makes Three
How Do You Like Your Eggs In The Morning?
A Hatful Of Dandruff
Every Time We Say Goodbye

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