Friday, May 18, 2007

Dixieland At Its Best - Camden Records

Dixieland At Its Best!

1964 Camden Records CAS-838 Stereo / CA-838 Mono

Side One
1. Original Dixieland One-Step - George Girard And His New Orleans Five
2. Some Of These Days - Bourbon Street All-Star Dixielanders
3. Milenberg Joys - Tony Almerico's Dixieland All-Stars
4. With You Anywhere You Are - Bourbon Street All-Star Dixielanders
5. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans - George Girard And His New Orleans Five

Side Two
1. Da-Da Strain - George Girard And His New Orleans Five
2. Someday You'll Be Sorry - Tony Almerico's Dixieland All-Stars (Jack Delaney, Vocal)
3. I'm Confessing That I Love You - Bourbon Street All-Star Dixielanders
4. When You're Smiling - Tony Almerico's Dixieland All-Stars (Tony Almerico, Vocal)
5. Sweethearts On Parade - George Girard And His New Orleans Five

Liner Notes:

Dixieland At Its Best featuring Pete Fountain, George Girard, Tony Almerico and other greats

Memorable Performances by Great Musicians

You'd be surprised how much we know about you! - simply from the fact that you're looking at this album. In the first place, you're on a diet! - a diet of jazz that is, with a menu calling for a healthy portion of Dixieland. Second, you're the kind of person who likes to discover the good things. And third, you like to treat yourself to the best. Your curiosity has been aroused because we've called this album DIXIELAND AT ITS BEST. Does that seem like a large order? Well, what have we got to offer?

For a starter - just the greatest exponents of Dixieland in the world today, that's all: men like Pete Fountain, George Girard, Tony Almerico, Jack Delaney, Lester Bouchon, Roy Zimmerman, Harry Shields, Bob Discom and a host of other front runners. And what else? There's the music itself, of course - ten sturdy Dixieland favorites played with immense gusto, with soul, with inspired brilliance. These tunes are the kind that will live as long as jazz lives, which is like forever. But the thing that really clinches the case for this set as DIXIELAND AT ITS BEST is the fact that it was all recorded "live" - on location! Is there anything better than "live" re-cording, especially for jazz, to bring out the wonderful spontaneity of the music? Where was it recorded? Where else but in New Orleans, birthplace of jazz, home of the blues and of Dixieland. It was one of the greatest Dixieland recording sessions of all time, and took place in the Parisian Room on Royal Street, just a stone's throw from historic Basin Street. Produced were masterpiece performances in the realm of jazz.

From that session you'll find in this album not one band, but three - each with something different to offer. There's a big double Dixieland band made up of the top men of the leading groups in the Crescent City - the Bourbon Street All-Star Dixielanders. Probably never again will there be such a gathering of greats. You'll agree there is something new in Dixieland when you hear the sound of this big band which kicks off with two trumpets, two trombones, two clarinets, two guitars, even two drums! What a driving beat, what a lift! The New Orleans tunes are augmented by I'm Confessing That I Love You, which sort of became "New Orleans" because of Louis Armstrong's famous version of it. On every selection the order of horn solos is the same: Girard, Shields, Delaney, Bouchon, Almerico, Fountain and Pecora. The crowd at the session joins in with enthusiastic back-beat clapping and cheers for the soloists as they finish some truly great choruses. One of the wonderful things about Dixieland is that it's the kind of music that involves the listener as well as the player. There's nothing cerebral about it; it's all heart, true folk art that invites everyone to participate.

Now, besides the big band, there's a middle-size band headed by Tony Almerico. (This band also features the sensational Pete Fountain wailing on clarinet.) The Almerico group rolls in some beauties that include an original by Louis Armstrong, Some-day You'll Be Sorry, and another one that Louis made famous, When You're Smiling. (Remember Louis' great record of Smiling?) Last but not least, brimming with infectious invention and excitement is the small, more or less standard Dixieland band led by George Girard - standard, that is, in everything but inspiration, for the boys never played so great as they're heard on four selections here including, again, two associated with the town's greatest jazz-playing son, Louis Armstrong.

Yes, there's variety a-plenty. You'll find the album packed with enough Dixieland goodies to keep the. house warm all winter. What else can we say except ... listen! It's all here - the most venerable of jazz forms, the liveliest, the most agreeable .... Dlxrieland AT ITS BEST. So let your hair down and beat off : a-one, a-two, a-one, a-two . . .

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