Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dixieland Jazz from New Orleans - Imperial Records

George Girard and His New Orleans Five
and Frank Assunto And The Dukes Of Dixieland
featuring Pete Fountain

1959 Imperial Records LP 9086

George Girard and His New Orleans Five

Side 1
1. I've Found A New Baby
2. Crazy Man Crazy
3. Three Little Words
4. When The Saints Go Marching In
5. Barnyard Blues
6. I Got Rhythm

Frank Assunto And The Dukes Of Dixieland

Side 2
1. Whispering
2. Sweet Georgia Brown
3. Bourbon Street Parade
4. Glory Of Love
5. Slide, Frog, Slide
6. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans

1959 Imperial Records LP-9086 - Dixieland Jazz From New Orleans - Various Artists - Issued in mono only

Side One is George Girard and His New Orleans Five and Side Two is Frank Assunto & Dukes Of Dixieland. Pete played with George off and on after the demise of the Basin Street Six, and full time with the Dukes in this period. Pete may have played on these records, but there is nothing in the liner notes. I'll listen to it and hear if Pete's unique style is there. Any feedback on the line-up of the bands is appreciated.

All titles are from the original LPs on Imperial Records:
- 1954 Imperial Records IMP-3005 - Dixieland Jazz From New Orleans - Frank Assunto & Dukes Of Dixieland
- 1955 Imperial Records IMP-3009 - George Girard Band - George Girard

Liner Notes:

The fascinating fact about Dixieland, our oldest form of jazz, is that it always emerges as a new rage. It seems that each succeeding generation suddenly rediscovers Dixie, and then proceeds to dedicate itself to its revival. To be sure, it never passed from the scene in the first place.

In this curious chain of events can be found the very essence of Dixieland's appeal, and, obviously, the secret of its longevity. It is music which sparkles with a freshness ever new to the ear. As each passing generation basks in the warmth of Dixie's undimmed glow, it is left feeling that here is the real music - a form of music which surely deserves far more recognition. It immediately takes it upon itself to sing Dixieland's praises and thereby inform the world of the vast musical treasure it has uncovered. Thus, a time-old rage is born a-new. And, thus, Dixieland continues to flourish as the vigorous and lusty old timer of American music.

What is there about this type of music which so captivates us all? Some feel that the true strength of Dixieland lies in the freedom of its style. It's an unbridled brand of music which lets the instrumentalists go wherever their mood will take them. The performer is not fenced in by preconceived arrangements and held imprisoned by the printed page. In pure Dixieland, the result is a free flowing style of music which never sounds the same. It may well be that it owes its freshness to the very reliance on improvisation.

Others maintain that Dixieland's charm lies in the warm and familiar feeling the music creates. To be sure, there's an old-shoe comfort in good Dixie, an easy and relaxed atmosphere which leaves its listeners a-glow. This well may be the result of the freedom it allows its performers.

Perhaps the core of Dixieland's widespread appeal consists of the combined strength of these two factors. Dixieland was born out of the turbulent post-Civil War South. It was conceived and cradled in New Orleans. It drew its sustenance from songs of prayer and plantation, from dirge and from dance to emerge as a most unusual musical mixture. It grew into a zesty, happy-go-lucky youth, but one can occasionally sense a plaintive note in its make-up. When Dixie reached manhood it became restless and wandered from its Crescent City home. It went up the Mississippi to answer the lure of the beckoning North - on to St. Louis and from there, to Chicago and Kansas City. It spread across our land and around the world to become America's stalwart contribution to the world of music.

Of course, it took with it the great musicians who fostered its growth in New Orleans for only they could properly perform it in the true tradition of the old Crescent City days.

This album offers two of the best known New Orleans groups noted for their authentic renditions of pure Dixieland. Listen and you, too, will feel that you've just rediscovered Dixie.

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