Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Basin Street Six - The Complete Circle Recordings - GHB Records

The Basin Street Six
The Complete Circle Recordings
Featuring Pete Fountain

Below is the booklet:

1994 GHB Records BCD-103

CD Track Listing
1. Margie (Vocal Girard)
2. Farewell Blues
3. That's A Plenty #1 * *
4. That's A Plenty #2
5. Up A Lazy River
6. Jazz Me Blues
7. I'm Going Home
8. High Society
9. South Rampart Street Parade
10. Mahogany Hall Stomp * *
11. World's Waiting For The Sunrise * *
12. Waiting For The Robert E. Lee
** Previously Unissued

Liner Notes:

George Girard (trumpet)
Pete Fountain (clarinet, #4 tenor sax)
Joe Rotis (trombone)
Roy Zimmerman (piano)
Bunny Franks (string bass)
Charlie Duke (drums)

Recorded New Orleans
Tracks 1-9: Aug 2, 1950
Tracks 10 - 12: Nov. 3, 1950

Pitch rect.: David Sager
Production: Barry Martyn

The Basin Street Six

The story of the Basin Street Six begins with a football game, or to be more precise a series of football games. In the 1940's the white kids in New Orleans were crazy over football, but pocket money was scarce making tickets hard to come by, so the youngsters would go to any lengths to gain entry. For young musicians it was slightly easier, they would group together as a band and dress up in the colours of any local or visiting team, this way they would get into the football stadiums as the 'official' band. This sometimes provided a real service as not all visiting teams could afford to bring along their own band. It was during a football game between Warren Easton High School and Bogalusa that a young clarinet player named Pierre Dewey LaFontaine, Jr. (Pete Fountain) playing in the large and impressive Warren Easton School Band was amazed to see that Bogalusa arrived with only a three piece band. At half-time, being unable to contain himself any longer, Pete introduced himself to the rival trio, Frank Assunto (trumpet) Freddie Assunto (trombone) and Willie Perkins (drums), and he was invited to join the group for the second half of the game. Of course the 'Bogalusa Band' were just a bunch of local New Orleans kids working the 'visiting jazz band' pastime.

From this first meeting Pete became good friends with the Assunto's and he would go to their home on General Taylor and Freret Streets a couple of times a week to practice and make plans for bigger ventures and to eventually forming a real band.

The four youngsters concentrated on working the football games assisted by a friend Benny Christiana whose father had a pick-up truck. By decorating the truck with coloured crepe paper the same as the school colours the band would start about a block away and when they reached the Stadium they would be waved inside as the 'official' band. Of course the Stadium guards were aware of what was going on but turned a blind eye as the appearance of a band at a foot-ball game always attracted a lot of attention.

This still un-named band played the same three or four tunes all the time, but they all listened to a lot of jazz records. Papa Jac Assunto, Frank and Freddie's dad, worked at Werlein's Music Store on Canal Street at the time, and he brought home records for the lads to listen to and learn from.

So it came to pass one summer Saturday afternoon in 1946, sitting around a picnic table in City Park, the quartet decided to quit the football games racket and start out in the jazz business properly. The lads called themselves the Basin Street Four, named after the Basin Street Blues, a popular tune associated with the old city of New Orleans. The band learned more songs and went out in search of their first gig, Pete Fountain was just sixteen years old when the Basin Street Four opened at the Carnival Lounge on Broad Street. The job lasted just two weeks, Friday and Saturday nights for just ten dollars each for both nights, but the manager of the place was just not selling enough beer to keep the band employed.

A few days later a new residency was found at The Hideaway on St. Bernard, a better class place, the band having their name written in chalk on the Jax Beer Blackboard out front. The band played three nights a week, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the place was packed every night for the two months the gig last-ed. Tommy Baldaras another youngster from the Assunto's neighborhood joined the group on guitar, the band became the Basin Street Five.

The big night spot at the time was the Parisian Room on Royal Street owned and operated by Joe Gemelli and Tony Almerico, all the guys jammed there on Sunday afternoons and the lads continually asked if they could have a spot to prove they could really play jazz. Eventually the owners gave in only on the condition that the band changed it's name, the Basin Street Five became the Junior Dixie Band. Mixing and playing with older more experienced musicians did nothing but good for the lads, they were soon totally accepted as a part of the Sunday afternoon scene and they were readily included when WWL Radio started broadcasting those jam sessions, first locally and then nationwide through the CBS network, billed as the Dixieland Jamboree.

From these Sunday afternoon sessions mid-week jobs were added and then jobs all over the City. The Horace Heidt talent radio show came to town with auditions held at the New Orleans Recreation Department. The Junior Dixie Band entered the talent show and then began rehearsing in earnest adding two more youngsters to the band, Johnny Bartell on bass and Stanley Mendelson on piano. This new seven piece unit romped through their audition playing 'March of the Bob Cats'. The following week the band were on the radio show and won the first local heat, a week later in Louisville, Kentucky they lost to an all girl group singing cowboy songs, it was back to the Parisian Room and the Sunday afternoon jam sessions.

Shortly after, the Assunto brothers left the band to form their own Dukes of Dixieland and George Girard and Jack Delaney joined the Junior Dixie Band. Originally Jack Delaney played trumpet with the band but learned trombone when George Girard proved how good a trumpet player he was. This revised band picked up a good paying job at Demiano's Dance Hall on Airline Highway.

Eventually the Junior Dixie Band broke up, most of the musicians hankering to play with bigger names, George Girard joined the Jimmy Archey Orchestra, Jack Delaney went with the Sharkey Bonano Band and Pete Fountain took his own group into the Famous Door on Bourbon Street using a young talented Al Hirt on trumpet.

Later Pete joined Phil Zito's International Dixieland Band at the El Morocco, Joe Rotis was on trombone, Emile Christian bass, Roy Zimmerman piano and George Girard returned to New Orleans to play trumpet, Phil Zito was on drums. This band was successful but eventually the crowds dropped off and many clubs even stopped having bands. The El Morocco job folded and the band went to Biloxi, Mississippi to play for two weeks at the Broadwater Beach Hotel. A job came through in New York but by now the guys were ready to return home to New Orleans and Phil Zito hired new musicians to go north.

It was time to form a new band in New Orleans but dixieland in 1950 was no longer popular and the Basin Street Six was created as the greatest unemployed band in the City, with George Girard (trumpet), Joe Rotis (trombone), Pete Fountain (clarinet), Roy Zimmerman (piano), Bunny Franks (string bass) and Charlie Duke (drums). It was George Girard who came up with a regular two nights a week job at L'Enfants on Canal Boulevard. The band had to play dance music mostly. Bill Reed of WWL TV picked up the show as part of his dixieland revival campaign and within three months the Basin Street Six had found their niche as a funny hat band, wearing old Mardi Gras costumes, switching instruments and even dressing up as girls on occasions, a real fun band but still playing good dixieland jazz.

In fact the band was good enough to make their first recording session towards the end of the year for Circle Records. When the TV job closed, L'Enfants returned to having only a dance music policy and late in 1951 the Basin Street Six were again looking for work. Within a week the band opened at Perez's Oasis and then the Silver Slipper Club on Bourbon Street (the same building that housed the Silver Slipper Club became Your Father's Moustache' during the 60's and 70's but now no longer exists as a jazz venue).

Soon they were playing six nights a week all over the City, the dixieland revival was in full swing. Johnny Edwards replaced Charlie Duke on drums, and a second recording session was made this time for Mercury Records. Down Beat carried a story, the band were now living like celebrities. Blaise D'Antoni, president of the Standard Fruit Company, the largest importer of bananas in New Orleans, bought the and under a ninety-nine year contract, he liked the way they clowned and played. All the members of the band signed the contract, part of the deal being that the Standard Fruit Company continued to call the band the Basin Street Six. The band opened on a banana boat bound for Honduras, a two week cruise entertaining Mr. D'Antoni's guests. Everybody had a good time but it could not last and the ninety-nine year contract ended after three months, with everyone parting friends.

Back in New Orleans the Basin Street Six played the intermission set for a Louis Armstrong concert at the Municipal Auditorium, a fitting accolade for the fine little band. A trip to the Blue Note in Chicago was reluctantly made, none of the men wanted to be away from home for long. There were periods of squabbling and it became obvious that there were feelings of discontent among the fellows, they were falling out over everything. In four years the band had always been run as a cooperative unit, no leader, but this had not always been easy as George Girard was really a natural leader with a super strong personality. Upon returning from Chicago George quit the band to form him own group, Connie Jones replaced him for a while, Roy Zimmerman and Pete Fountain left a few weeks later. It was 1954, the Basin Street Six were no more, a chapter complete in the continuing story of New Orleans dixieland jazz.

- Tom Stagg, 1988

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fountain Of Youth - Allegiance Records

Fountain Of Youth

1984 Allegiance Records AV-5022

Side One
1. Up a Lazy River
2. Mahogany Hall Stomp
3. Sunset In Paradise
4. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
5. I'm Coming Home

Side Two
1. Farewell Blues
2. That's A-Plenty
3. High Society
4. In The shade Of The Old Apple Tree
5. Bayou Blues.

Liner Notes:

Fountain Of Youth (Treasury Of Recorded Classics Series)

Pete Fountain, clarinet

There is a two-for-one CD Allegiance Extra Fountain of Youth by Allegiance Records, released 1987 CDP-72923 that has these 10 tracks, plus another 12 by Al Hirt (22 total). The first 10 tracks are the Pete Fountain's Fountain of Youth album, the other 12 tracks are Al Hirt's Blue Line album, also released on Allegiance Records. The CD is hard to find and goes for about $50 - $100. Not much is written about these releases on Allegiance Records, are they legitimate, unauthorized, etc. The quality of the artwork, label printing is fair, blury, overall low quaility. If you have any knowledge about the Allegiance recordings, please leave a comment.

Pete Fountain/Al Hirt
Allegiance Extra Fountain of Youth/Blue Line

1987 Allegiance Records CDP-72923

Pete Fountain Clarinet
Al Hirt Trumpet

CD Listing
Pete Fountain - Fountain Of Youth
01.Up a lazy river
02.Mahogany hall stomp
03.Sunset in paradise
04.The world is waiting for the sunrise
05.I'm going home
06.Farewell blues
07.That's a-plenty
08.High society
09.In the shade of the old apple tree
10.Bayou blues

Al Hirt - Blue Line
11. Blues line
12. Faded love
13. Lonesome street
14. Orange Blossom Special
15. Louisiana man
16. Oh lonesome me
17. Break my mind
18. I walk the line
19. When my blue moon turns to gold
20. I really don't want to know
21. Blue eyes crying in the rain
22. I'm so lonesome I could cry.

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? - Verve Records

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?

Below is part of the booklet

1996 Verve Records - GRD2658 (2 CD set)

Track Listing
Disc 1
01. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
02. When The Saints Come Marching In
03. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
04. Sweethearts On Parade
05. When It's Sleepy Time Down South
06. Tin Roof Blues
07. Aunt Hagar's Blues
08. Beale Street Blues
09. Wabash Blues
10. St. Louis Blues
11. Wang Wang Blues
12. I've Found A New Baby
13. Ja Da
14. Tiger Rag
15. Someday Sweetheart
16. The Birth Of The Blues
17. Dear Old Southland
18. That Da Da Strain
19. At The Jazz Band Ball
20. Jazz Me Blues

Disc 2
01. St. James Infirmary
02. Panama
03. Of All The Wrongs You've Done To Me
04. Milenberg Joys
05. I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
06. Struttin' With Some Barbecue
07. Bourbon Street Parade
08. Ballin' The Jack
09. Rockin' Chair
10. South Rampart Street Parade
11. Farewell Blues
12. Careless Love
13. Basin Street Blues
14. (What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue
15. That's A Plenty
16. The Sheik Of Araby
17. Dipper Mouth Blues
18. Washboard Blues
19. Muskrat Ramble
20. I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues

Liner Notes:

Recorded in Los Angeles and New Orleans between 1959 and 1965.
Original release on the Decca Records label.

Pete Fountain Clarinet
Charlie Teagarden Trumpet
Godfrey Hirsch Vibraphone
Merle Koch Piano
Stan Wrightsman Piano
Don Bagley Bass
Morty Corb Bass
Jack Sperling Drums

There are two things that to my mind distinguish Pete Fountain from virtually any other jazz instrumentalist of any genre who has achieved similar vast popularity. One is that he has continued to hold the respect of a great many talented though far less noted musicians - take my word for it, this is a very rare accomplishment. The other is that he remains very much a hometown person: he has always been quite content to be a giant attraction in New Orleans, going out on the road on numerous occasions, of course, but never measuring success in term of New York of LA or London, and remaining involved in the life of his native city.

- Orrin Keepnews, from the liner notes to Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?

The Best Of Pete Fountain - MCA Records

The Best Of Pete Fountain

Below is the 3 page inside booklet

1972 MCA Records MCAD-4032 Stereo

Originally released in 1972 as a two LP set on MCA Records MCA2-4032 (Stereo)(FORMERLY DXSE7-210) All selections previously released on the DECCA album old number DXSE7-210 entitled THE BEST OF PETE FOUNTAIN

CD Listing
01. While We Danced At The Mardi Gras
02. A Closer Walk
03. Columbus Stockade Blues
04. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
05. Fascination Medley: (a) Fascination; (b) Basin Street Blues; (c) Tin Roof Blues; (d) Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
06. China Boy (Go Sleep )
07. Bye Bye Bill Bailey
08. Lazy River
09. Yes Indeed
10. High Society
11. Stranger On The Shore
12. Over The Waves
13. Oh, Lady Be Good
14. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
15. My Blue Heaven
16. Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
17. For Pete's Sake
18. When The Saints Come Marching In March
19. St. Louis Blues
20. When My Baby Smiles At Me
21. Shrimp Boats
22. Indiana (Back Home Again In Indiana)

Liner Notes:

Pierre Dewey La Fontaine, Jr., was born in 1930. In due course, needing a more concise name, he became Pete Fountain. His father had played several instruments as an avocation, and he encouraged his son's interest in music. Before he entered his teens, Pete had begun to study clarinet at Johnny Wigg's State Band School of Music. He showed such natural instinct and aptitude for the instrument that in a very short time he was far ahead of the other pupils. He further developed his style and technique in the time-honored jazz fashion by "sitting in" and "jamming" with bands on Bourbon Street. He studied the work of such prominent jazzmen as Eddie Miller, Charlie Tea-garden, Bobby Hackett and Ray Baudac, and most particularly that of his idol, clarinetist Irving Fazola.

His first professional date came when he was 16, when Fazola died. He took Fazola's chair in a French Quarter band, and the blues tribute he blew for his friend and teacher that night was the making of yet another legend.

In 1948, he joined the Junior Dixieland Band, which won a talent contest and toured the United States. His reputation was growing apace, and after playing in Phil Zito's Dixieland Band, he helped form the Basin Street Six in 1950. This combination played in New Orleans and the area around for three years. He next joined the Dukes of Dixieland and went to Chicago for several months, but he returned home when the group set out on a national tour. "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans" is a song with a title of more than ordinary significance for Pete Fountain.

There followed a brief hiatus in his musical career when he joined the "day people" in a 9-to-5 job. This move was made primarily because the musician's life separated him from his wife, Beverly, whom he had married in 1950. Music continued to beckon, however, and after their first child was born he organized a band for an engagement at Dan's Pier 600 on Bourbon Street, where, with the aid of several successful records, his reputation resumed its interrupted expansion.

In the summer of 1956, Pete scored a tremendous success at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, which led to an invitation from Lawrence Welk to make guest appearances on his immensely popular television show. The offer he subsequently accepted for two weeks turned into an engagement lasting two years! The response of home viewers was phenomenal, but eventually the urge to return home and play his own way became too strong.

"I guess champagne and bourbon just don't mix," he said. "Don't get me wrong - Welk is a wonderful man and his TV show did plenty for me. But I just couldn't play the kind of music I wanted to."

Back in New Orleans, he obtained an interest in his friend Dan Levy's Bateau Lounge on the street he loves best - Bourbon Street. Soon he had his own well-appointed and successful club, the French Quarter Inn, and in due course he became the owner of a 35-acre ranch a half-hour from the city.

Happy to live his life in New Orleans, which he leaves somewhat reluctantly for concert and TV appearances, Pete has done much to secure recognition - and an aura of "respectability" - for jazz. It was always supported by the masses, but he succeeded in winning over the city's social, cultural, and business leaders as well. A Pete Fountain Day was proclaimed in New Orleans, and in 1968, the city staged its first full-scale jazz festival. Thanks in large part to Pete Fountain, jazz has truly come home again - and this time to stay.

This collection of recordings, made between 1959 and 1967, illustrates many facets of Pete Fountain's musical personality. As he told writer Burt Korall, he seeks "to combine Fazola's mellow sound with Benny Goodman's drive," and these qualities are evident as he plays in the many different con-texts devised for him by producer Charles Bud Dant.

On half the titles, he is heard as a soloist with a rhythm section that is occasionally supplemented by Godfrey Hirsch's skillful vibes playing. While this affords him maximum freedom, it also charges him with maximum responsibility. Just how adroitly he walks the tightrope between them is happily audible on such classics of the New Orleans repertoire as "When The Saints Come Marching In March," "A Closer Walk," "While We Danced At The. Mardi Gras" and "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans."

Other performances, like "Columbus Stockade Blues" and "St. Louis Blues" find him back in front of a band, and Heinie Beau's arrangement of "Over The Waves," with its knowing use of tuba and four drummers, recreates the sound of the parade bands that are such an integral feature of New Or-leans life. Sy Oliver's famous "Yes Indeed" becomes a neat essay in gospelry as Pete's clarinet is answered by a 14-piece choir. In between an excursion to Nashville for "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You," and to Hamburg for Bert Kaempfert's "For Pete's Sake," there are a whole lot of evergreen jazz standards. And by way of salutes to other clarinetists, there are "Lazy River" (for Sidney Arodin), "When My Baby Smiles At Me" (for Ted Lewis), "High Society" (for Alphonse Picou), and "Stranger On The Shore" -(for Acker Bilk).

THE BEST OF PETE FOUNTAIN is the best of the clarinet, and the best of jazz.

Lawrence Welk Classic Clips Part 112 - Pete Plays: White Silver Sand

Lawrence Welk Classic Clips Part 27 - Pete Plays: Round and Round

Lawrence Welk Classic Clips Part 53 - Pete Plays: If I Had You

Pete Fountain and Maxim Vengerov playing Summertime.

BravoTV - Pete Fountain - Jazz Me Blues

BravoTV - Pete Fountain - Closer Walk With Thee/Amazing Grace

BravoTV - Pete Fountain- Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans

BravoTV - Pete Fountain - Shine

BravoTV - Pete Fountain - Basin Street Blues

BravoTV - Pete Fountain - When The Saints Go Marching In

Friday, June 22, 2007

Country - Ranwood Records

Pete Fountain Country

Below is the inside 3 page booklet

1994 Ranwood Records MSD 35346

CD Listing
01. I Love You So Much It Hurts
02. Maria Elena
03. Born to Lose
04. Your Cheatin' Heart
05. Green, Green, Grass of Home
06. Help Me Make It Through the Night
07. San Antonio Rose
08. Rose Garden
09. Crazy
10. I Can't Stop Loving You
11. Walking the Floor Over You
12. Sunday in the Country

Liner Notes:

Personnel includes:
Pete Fountain (clarinet)

Charles "Bud" Dant
Owen Bradley.

Pete Fountain's "country" album is a thoroughly entertaining, laid-back affair on which he applies his smooth, melodic clarinet stylings to a program of country classics including "Born to Lose," "Your Cheatin' Heart," "San Antonio Rose," "Crazy," and more. Co-produced by Owen Bradley, Country is comparable to Lawrence Welk or Ray Anthony's forays into the genre. "Walking the Floor Over You" really swings and makes good use of a vocal chorus. Just for fun, Fountain puts down the clarinet and actually sings on the closer, "Sunday in the Country."

Smooth and Mellow - MCA Records

Smooth and Mellow

1988 MCA Records MSD 35108

CD Listing
01. A Closer Walk
02. Maria Elena
03. My Blue Heaven
04. Oh, Lady Be Good
05. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
06. Blue Skies
07. Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans
08. Moonglow
09. Just One of Those Things
10. Petite Fleur
11. Fascination Medley: Fascination/Basin Street Blues/Tin Roof Blues/Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
12. High Society
13. Stranger On The Shore
14. Careless Love
15. Indiana (Back Home Again in Indiana)
16. Hello Dolly!
17. Over The Waves
18. When The Saints Go Marching In
19. When My Baby Smiles At Me
20. Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
21. Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home
22. It's Been a Long, Long Time
23. The Darktown Strutters' Ball
24. Up A Lazy River

Liner Notes:

Listed as distributed by Good Music Record Company, which assembles collections for mail order firms and TV offers, pacted with MCA for this CD compilation of 24 tracks drawn from original albums controlled by MCA. It is also available on two LP compilation MSM 35108.

Pete Fountain catapulted to stardom on the Lawrence Welk TV Show and has been pleasing audiences worldwide ever since. And here are the greatest Pete Fountain recordings ever made. All in one superb collection!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Touch of Class - Ranwood Records

A Touch of Class

Below: Inside Back Cover, Insert Page 1 and 2

1995 Ranwood Records MSD 35808

CD Song Listing

01. La Vie En Rose
02. Autumn Leaves
03. I Love Paris
04. Two Loves Have I
05. Comme Ci, Comme Ca
06. April In Paris
07. Tout De Suite (Right Now)
08. C'est Si Bon
09. C'est Magnifique
10. Miss Lucy
11. My Man (Mon Homme)
12. Mood Indigo
13. The Song From Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart)
14. Your Cheatin' Heart
15. Fa So Blues
16. You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
17. Frere Jazz
18. Rhapsody In Blue

Liner Notes:

The Jordanaires - Performer
Pete Fountain - Clarinet
Pete Fountain - Main Performer
Bonnie Pritchard - Producer

Pete Fountain, takes us on a relaxing sesion with this release as he performs a few classic Big Band numbers. If you have always associated Pete Fountain as that great clarinetist playing dixieland, A Touch Of Class, will pleasantly surprise you.

This is Pete Fountain with a full orchestra. It's Pete expressing his music in a new way. His clarinet is smooth with his signature high notes and rich low tones. Great for your dinner party background music or a relaxing drive in the country.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Al Hirt with Pete Fountain - Metro Records

Al Hirt with Pete Fountain

1965 Metro (MGM) Records MS-517 Stereo / M-517 Mono

Pete is great on this LP, a must for your collection. Pete on the saxaphone is incredible. Some of Pete's best jazz work on this album. One of my favorite albums! - David Mekalian

Side One
1. South Rampart Street Parade
2. Panama
3. I'm Goin' Home
4. Jazz Me Blues
5. The Original Dixieland One Step

Side Two
1. Sugar (That Sugar Baby 0' Mine)
2. Tin Roof Blues
3. Washington And Lee Swing
4. Blue (And Broken-Hearted)
5. Wolverine Blues

Liner Notes:

A. & R. Coordinator: Irv Stiller
Director of Engineering: Val Valentin

Al Hirt Trumpet
Pete Fountain Clarinet
Bob Havens Trombone
Roy Zimmerman Piano
Bob Coquille Bass
Paul Edwards Drums

Al Hirt is undoubtedly the biggest trumpet man in the country - not only in physical make-up but in sound and technical prowess as well. The bearded behemoth of Bourbon Street struts his huge sounding horn on this fine Dixieland album for everyone to hear.

The album is filled with first-class Dixie standards - prime chestnuts that send the blood pressure soaring and start the feet prancing.

For openers there's the hard-hitting Ray Baduc-Bob Haggart classic South Rampart Street Parade which was featured by the high-stepping Bob Crosby band of more than two decades ago. In quick succession come other vintage swingers like Panama, Jazz Me Blues, Washing-ton And Lee Swing and Wolverine Blues. For lower-gear change of pace, Hirt plays choice items like Blue (And Broken-Hearted) and Sugar.

Added starter on this set is Pete Fountain - a hit-maker in his own right - who plays clarinet throughout the album and turns in a rare, but nonetheless spectacular, tenor sax solo on Washington And Lee Swing. The other first-class musicians on the album are: Bob Havens, trombone; Roy Zimmerman, piano; Bob Coquille, bass and Paul Edwards, drums.

All the flash and fire that make Al Hirt the Big Man on trumpet come roaring out of New Orleans in a session that vibrates with pace, excitement and solid swing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Dukes Of Dixieland Featuring Pete Fountain - RCA Records

The Dukes Of Dixieland Featuring Pete Fountain

1961 RCA Records LSP-2097(e) Stereo / LSM-2097 Mono

My favorite Pete Fountain album. Pete really dominates the recordings with his incredible, high powered, bluesy solos. This isn't the easy listening stuff he does on the Coral LPs. It is raw, Pete at his best, Dixieland jazz style playing. The solos on these recordings are what you think of when you want to hear blazing Dixieland jazz at it's best. I never get tired hearing these tunes over and over - David Mekalian

Side One
1. At the Jazz Band Ball
2. Beale Street Blues
3. Muskrat Ramble
4. Blue Prelude
5. That's A-Plenty
6. Original Dixieland One-Step

Side Two
1. Panama
2. Wolverine Blues
3. Fidgety Feet
4. Tin Roof Blues
5. Tiger Rag
6. When the Saints Come Marching In

Liner Notes:

The Dukes Of Dixieland Featuring Pete Fountain

Trumpet: Frankie Assunto
Trombone: Freddie Assunto
Clarinet: Pete Fountain
Piano: Artie Seelig
Bass: Bill Potter
Drums: Roger Johnston

The Dukes of Dixieland obviously get a tremendous wallop out of music-making. They have always been able to kick into the ensembles like the liner United States plowing into twenty-foot waves. But it was during the time that they were spark-plugged by the hard-driving, albeit soulful and expressive, clarinet of Pete Fountain that they were in their peak form. Here are The Dukes as they were heard during their finest period - the era when their unbeatable combination of great enthusiasm and enormous ability made theirs one of the truly fine jazz groups of all time.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Pete Fountain & New Orleans All Stars - International Award Series

Pete Fountain & New Orleans All Stars

1966 International Award Series AKS-252 Stereo AK-252 Mono

Split between Dixieland legend Pete Fountain and the New Orleans All Stars. Side one features a live track from Fountain.

Side One
1. South Rampart Street Parade (Pete Fountain)
2. Sensation Rag (Pete Fountain)
3. Sunset in Paradise (New Orleans All Stars)
4. In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree (New Orleans All Stars)
5. Bayou Blues (New Orleans All Stars)

Side Two
1. Jazz Me Blues (Pete Fountain)
2. Bugle Call Rag (Pete Fountain)
3. St. James Infirmary (New Orleans All Stars)
4. When the Saints Go Marching In (New Orleans All Stars)

Liner Notes:

Yet another budget-label collection from Pickwick, released with a different cover. Same record as 1962 Pickwick International Design Label SDLP-182. Pickwick International owned a slew of budget labels, including Design Records, Bravo, International Award, Hurrah, and Grand Prix. They also had releases on the Sears label. By 1965, Bravo had been discontinued, but International Award, Design, Hurrah, and Grand Prix were all going strong. Upon closer inspection, part of the reason all three had such a large catalog was that Pickwick was often issuing the exact same album on the different labels, but with different covers and attributed to different artists! Many of the albums listed in the Design Records discography met that fate. Of course, if the artists, like Pete Fountain were well known, the names were consistent from label to label, but for those generic bands, orchestras, and singers, they may be Norman Roye today and Merlin tomorrow.