Friday, November 23, 2007

I've Got You Under My Skin (EP) - Coral Records

I've Got You Under My Skin

Jukebox inserts

1966 Coral Records CRL 798149 Stereo
7" 33 1/3 RPM Jukebox EP
All tracks form the Coral Album CRL 757488

Side A:
1. I've Got You Under My Skin
2. Born Free
3. Mame

Side B:
1. The Old French Quarter
2. Hanky Panky
3. My Blue Heaven

Liner Notes:

I've Got You Under My Skin
Clarinet Solos With Orchestra
Directed By CHARLES "Bud" Dant
Pete Fountain plays a Leblanc clarinet exclusively

Pete Fountain (clarinet)
Stan Wrightsman (piano)
Godfrey Hirsch (vibes)
Morty Corb (bass)
Jack Sperling (drums)

This record has the same cover slick as the LP, but in 7" format used in jukeboxes. The back cover is blank, the cover has the same Coral LP number as the LP, yet the actual record has the EP catalog number.

These songs are from the Coral Album CRL 757488, Pete Fountain returns to the kind of free-swinging small group which made one of his most successful records ever - "Pete Fountain's New Orleans". The accompanists who provide him with such a lively springboard are the formidable, highly professional and eminently sympathetic trio of Stan Wrightsman (piano), Morty Corb (bass) and Jack Sperling (drums). Pete's regular vibist, Godfrey Hirsch, lends a helping hand - and mallets - from time to time. The program includes a number of recent successes, and in some instances they are set to an appropriately contemporary beat.

Most of the recordings were made during Pete's second very successful engagement in Las Vegas, where he played at The Tropicana and used Jack Sperling as an added attraction for solos and specialities. (the other were Nashville recordings) The Vegas days seldom being so fully occupied as the nights, it occurred to producer Bud Dant that this was an ideal opportunity to record Pete under conditions which were simultaneously relaxed and stimulating.

I've Got You Under My Skin, the opener, is a great song at any time, but this version was partially inspired by the success and beat of the hit record by The Four Seasons. A Nashville recording, this brings the chorus to the foreground with words and melody in the second chorus.

Mame, is another hit by Jerry Herman, the composer of "Hello, Dolly!" The lyrics are concerned with New Orleans and the tune seems to suit Pete even better than "Dolly".

Born Free, the pretty theme of the movie of that name, is prettily played with a contemporary beat and pleasing use of Godfrey Hirsch's vibes.

The Old French Quarter which opens the second side, was also made in Nashville. It is a blues-oriented number which seeks to recapture the party atmosphere of "Pete's Place", the clarinetist's popular club in New Orleans. The performance is graphically realistic at times, even down to the sound of people talking when they ought to be listening!

Hanky Panky returns us to Vegas. Like so many other rock hits, this is the blues, and the blues are Pete's meat, as he rapidly makes clear.

My Blue Heaven, immediately proves this to have been a good idea, for it is surely one of the most happily realized performances in the clarinetist's extensive recorded career. Walter Donaldson's beautiful song was due for a revival, and this seems to be the interpretation likely to bring it about. The group answers Pete's theme statements before he goes into a swinging full chorus; the piano has the spotlight for sixteen bars; bass and drums duet for the rest of the chorus; the ensemble returns and they take it out in the manner established at the beginning. It is simple in outline, but extremely effective the way they play it.

Except for the Nashville recordings, which were planned and arranged by Bud Dant, all of these performances were made from "head" or oral arrangements, to which each of the men contributed what he did best. It is in this kind of context and with this kind of freedom that Pete Fountain's imagination flourishes. The result is music that will get under your skin.

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