Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pete Fountain - A Closer Walk With Thee - Coral Records

A Closer Walk With Thee

1959 Coral 45 rpm 7" EP CRL ES 4288 Stereo / CRL EC 81188 Mono

Side A:
1. A Closer Walk
2. When The Saints Come Marching In March

Side B:
1. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
2. When It's Sleepy Time Down South

Liner Notes:

Clarinet Pete Fountain
Piano Stan Wrightsman
Bass Morty Corb
Drums Jack Sperling

These songs are from he LP PETE FOUNTAIN'S NEW ORLEANS Coral CRL 757282 Stereo / CRL 57282 Mono

Clarinet Solos with Rhythm Accompaniment

No matter how far upstream jazz may have come from New Orleans, there exists a nostalgia, in some cases a reverence, in most minds, for that early cradle of American music. And, as a general rule, New Orleans musicians help to perpetuate that nostalgia and reverence. They live on streets with wonderful names. They study in time-honored tradition. They begin their professional lives in a flamboyant manner. Then they work on other streets with even more wonderful names. And, at least since that first wave or two, which went to Chicago, they just never want to leave home.

With pianist Stan Wrightsman, bassist Morty Corb and drummer Jack Sperling, all of them free-wheeling swingers, Pete demonstrates what has been a long time developing in this guided tour through his musical life - that Pete Fountain is a wonderful clarinetist, a member of that old school of warm, personally communicative musicians whose playing denies a dateline. What can be heard here is an excellent musician, accompanied by other excellent musicians, playing songs that are as familiar as the seasons of the year, allowing talent and artistry to grace each with that pleasant freshness that each season brings.

But now I am getting carried away by words, and the temptation is strong to close with some play on his name, such a wonderful one for a jazz musician. I thought for the moment that such a working of his name into the album title would be especially fitting. But Pete Fountain's New Orleans is probably the best name that there could be for this collection. If You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans, you'll know how happy he is to be back. And this is the eminently satisfying music of a happy man.


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