Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Blues - MCA Records

The Blues

1972 MCA Records MCA-506 Stereo

New sexy cover on this reissue. Previously released in 1959 on Coral Records CRL 757284 Stereo / CRL 57284 Mono titled The Blues

Side One
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Blue Mountain
3. Columbus Stockade Blues
4. Aunt Hagar's Blues
5. Lonesome Road
6. The Memphis Blues

Side Two
1. My Inspiration
2. Wang Wang Blues
3. Beale Street Blues
4. Wabash Blues
5. Five Point Blues
6. Bayou Blues

Liner Notes:

THE BLUES / Pete Fountain
Clarinet Solos with Orchestra directed by Chareles Bud Dant

Pete Fountain and jazz are a natural - they belong together. And Pete and his music belong to New Orleans - the city is, in essence, the "birth-place" of jazz, and it's where Pete can "live the life I know best, the best way I know how to live it."

Jazz has been a part of the Pete Fountain experience almost longer than he can remember. His father was a jazz musician on the side, jazz was a frequent subject of conversation among his friends, the sound of jazz was a constant feature in and around the Fountain home. It was, therefore, almost inevitable that Pete select an instrument basic to the more traditional forms of jazz.

At the age of 12, he began serious study of the clarinet - a full-time job ever since - with Mr. Aliesandro of the New Orleans Symphony. His first professional job, some years later, was a bittersweet experience - he replaced his idol, Irving Fazola, at a strip joint on the night of his death.

"I had to lie about my age. After a while the management found out and fired me, so I started gigging around the city, anywhere I could work."

With the exception of a few trips to Chicago, Pete stayed pretty close to home. He worked with a number of New Orleans traditional units, and was quite happy with his lot. But then, in 1957, Lawrence Welk asked him to come out West and join the famous Welk television family, and Pete figured - correctly - that that was his big break. Two years later he returned to jazz and New Orleans. As he puts it, "champagne and bourbon just don't mix" - but in two years he had become one of the most familiar names in American music, so the time had been well spent, well spent indeed.

Shortly before returning to New Orleans to open the first of his jazz clubs, the Bateau Lounge - he is now the proud proprietor of Pete Fountain's French Quarter Inn, on Bourbon Street - Pete recorded two albums, THE BLUES and PETE FOUNTAIN'S NEW ORLEANS. The albums were,in themselves, an emancipation proclamation, celebrating his return to his kind of music, his kind of feeling, even his kind of life. And his enthusiasm for this project was infectious. As he told Burt Korall at the time of the sessions for THE BLUES, "We got the right cats. The guys were happy. Mannie Klein enjoyed the dates so much that he brought his wife after the first session to hear the rest. These sessions weren't like recording dates. They were relaxed. All of them should be that way . . . the real important thing was to get off the ground right away and swing, and I think we did that."

And what better way to celebrate a return to jazz than by cutting an album of blues? Pete selected some traditional ones and had some new ones written. All of them, in performance, are blues in feeling; the majority, blues in form, as well. The arrangements are uncluttered and swinging, show Pete to advantage, and have an unmistakable traditional feeling.

Pete's been back in jazz for a long time now - fact is, it's kind of hard to believe that he ever left it, even briefly. All you have to do is listen to him play - you know, right away, that Pete Fountain is right where he should be.

Personnel on: LONESOME ROAD - BAYOU BLUES - MY INSPIRATION - COLUMBUS STOCKADE BLUES - WABASH BLUES: Trumpets - Mannie Klein, Conrad Gozzo, Art Depew, Shorty Sherock. Trombones - Moe Schneider, William Schaefer, Harold Diner, Peter Lofthouse. Reeds - Jack Dumont, Eddie Miller, Russ Cheever, Babe Russin, William Ulyate. Rhythm - Jack Sperling, drums; Stan Wrightsman, piano; Morty Corb, bass.

Personnel on: ST. LOUIS BLUES - BLUE FOUNTAIN - WANG WANG BLUES: Trumpets - Mannie Klein, Conrad Gozzo, Art Depew, Jackie Coon. Trombones - Same as above. Reeds - Wilber Schwartz, Eddie Miller, Babe Russin, Matty Matlock, Chuck Gentry. Rhythm - Same as above.

Personnel on: MEMPHIS BLUES - AUNT HAGER'S BLUES - FIVE POINT BLUES - BEALE STREET BLUES: Trumpets - Ray Linn, Jackie Coon, John Best, Art Depew. Trombones - Same as above. Reeds - Jack Dumont, Russ Cheever, Eddie Miller, Babe Russin, Chuck Gentry. Rhythm - Same as above.

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