Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Canal Street - Santo Pecora and His Dixieland Jass Band - Columbia Records

On Canal Street
Santo Pecora and His Dixieland Jass Band
featuring Pete Fountain

1950 Columbia Records SEB-10104 7" EP

Side One
1. Rose Of The Rio Grande
2. Basin Street Blues

Side Two
1. Twelfth Street Rag
2. Canal Street Stomp

Liner Notes:

Santo Pecora and His Dixieland Jass Band

George Girard (trumpet)
Santo Pecora (trombone)
Pete Fountain (clarinet)
Fred Landeman (piano)
Lou Massenter (bass)
Eddie Grady (drums)

Recorded In March, 1950

JAZZ, as everybody knows, was born in New Orleans. Since that far-off natal time, however, the music has spread to almost every corner of the globe until nowadays groups of young musicians playing in the New Orleans style can be found all over Europe and America. Yet the fact remains that the men who play most convincingly in that style are the musicians born and raised in New Orleans. Most of the instrumentalists heard on this EP fall into that category, notably the trombonist leader, Santo Pecora.

Although Pecora started out studying French horn it was not long before he was blowing a lusty, tailgate trombone in early white New Orleans groups. He travelled to Chicago in 1924 as a member of the original New Orleans Rhythm Kings and subsequently worked with bands of all kinds, both large and small. Like so many of the older generation of jazz musicians the 1930s saw him retire into obscurity for a while, but the traditional jazz revival has brought him back into the forefront again.

Two of the tunes which Santo Pecora and his band perform on this EP celebrate two of the most famous streets in New Orleans - Canal and Basin Streets, the latter, alas, no longer in existence. Santo Pecora wrote Canal Street Stomp himself. Basin Street Blues was composed by Spencer Williams in 1923 and has remained a jazz classic ever since. The remaining tracks contain Rose Of The Rio Grande, a "standard" always popular with jazz musicians, and Euday Bowman's Twelfth Street Rag, published in 1909 and often interpreted with humour as well as zest. All the performances are notable for tightly-knit, exciting ensemble playing and fluent solos from Pete Fountain, the late George Girard, Fred Landeman and Santo Pecora himself.

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