Sunday, September 30, 2007

Native New Orleans Jazz - DOT Records

Native New Orleans Jazz
Tony Almerico and his Dixieland Jamboree All Stars
featuring Pete Fountain

1956 DOT Records DEP 527 Monaural only

10" Extended Play (EP)

Side One:
1. I want to be happy
2. I'm a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas

Side Two:
3. Woodchopper's Ball
4. I'll be glad when you're dead you Rascal you

Very rare 10" 33 RPM EP of Pete's earliest recordings.

Liner Notes:

The Dixieland Jamboree All Stars:

Roy Zimmerman, piano
Joe Loyacano, bass
Frank Frederico, guitar
Tony Almerico, trumpet
Johnny Castaing, drums
Pete Fountain, clarinet
Jack Delaney, trombone
Sam Dekemel, bugle

Native New Orleans Jazz
Tony Almerico And His Dixieland Jamboree Allstars

Jazz Horizons Vol. 1

Tony Almerico is one of New Orleans' fabulous characters. He has successfully resisted every offer to showcase his band around the country. Without ever leaving New Orleans he has won far flung fame and is credited with having done more than any present day New Orleans native in reviving dixieland jazz.

A revival it was, too, for Almerico formed his dixieland band at a time when even the birthplace of jazz was "going pop". In 1948, a few exceptions, the local bands "were playing pop stuff". Dixieland jazz was being played on request - that is, at the request of the tourist trade. Out of this picture the New Orleans Jazz Club was organized. The club's aim was to help perpetuate public interest in dixieland jazz. The club got together with Almerico and put on Sunday afternoon jazz concerts in New Orleans' Parisian Room, 116 Royal Street. The concerts became an immediate success.

Live In Santa Monica - Hindsight Records

Live In Santa Monica

1998 Hindsight Records HCD-617 Mono

CD Listing:
1. Tiger Rag
2. After You've Gone
3. Tin Roof Blues
4. Stomp Mr. Henry Lee
5. Up A Lazy River
6. Avalon
7. A Closer Walk With Thee
8. Hindustan

Liner Notes:

Pete Fountain - Clarinet
Godfrey Hirsh - Vibes
Stan Wrightsman - Piano
Morty Corb - Bass
Jack Sperling - Drums

Pete Fountain "Live In Santa Monica"
Recorded Live at the Santa Monice Civic Auditorium on March 16, 1961

"Anytime we got that gang together with Pete, you know, we all laughed and scratched and had fun. We never knew how long it would go or where it would end up, but everybody seemed to like it. It was a ball. And Pete? Everybody loves Pete!" That's super-drummer Jack Sperling, speaking of ad-lib, off-the-top concert in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on March 16, 1961. The gang, besides Pete and Jack, included Stan Wrightsman, piano, Godfrey Hirsh, vibes and Morty Corb, bass. During the two years Pete worked for Lawrence Welk, they played together all over the Los Angeles area. No arrangement, no sketched-out routines, just, "What'll we play next" and the sheer joy of musicians so closely attune that every riff, phrase or twist fed the next one. You'll never hear a happier session than this one: nor a more inovative approach to old chestnuts.

As for Pete Fountain, whose sound is unique and immediately identifiable, he says, "My style is a cross between New Orleans and swing. My two clarinet players that I really liked when I was growing up were Irving Fazola and Benny Goodman and I used to listen to George Lewis, who was pure New Orleans." Pete has this view of the clarinet, "It's a love-hate instrument. Some nights when you get a good reed and it's singing, you know, there's just no better instrument in the world. But when you

don't or the reed's starting to die out or you can't find a good one, it's a miserable instrument." The read is surely singing in every possible way in this superb program and reflects Pete's long and almost seemless career, starting at age 15 when he substituted for Fazola at strip shows when Irving was ill. Fountain is still a big favorite on riverboats, records (more than 100 albums recorded) and jazz concerts as well as at his always successful jazz club (He calls it a "saloon") in his home town. In Morty Corb we had a double bass player who could and did play anything, anytime, with unfailing time and, in solos, articulate, melodic and uncluttered. With Jan Savitt, Louis Armstrong, Bob Crosby or in the movie studios, he was an uncomplicated pleasure with whom to work. Some of his very best playings is right here. Godfrey Hirsh became best known in home town New Orleans. He was an all-round percussionist, with technique on vibes that reminds of Lionel Hampton in his days with Benny Goodman. Back home, he doubled as a caterer. As for Stan Wrightman, he came out of Oklahoma to settle in Los Angeles, record with Artie Shaw, Mugsy Spanier, Bob Crosby and Wild Bill Davidson, to mention a few, and is heard on the soundtrack of "The Five Pennies". To this writer, he sounds like pianist Bob Zurke crossed with Joe Sullivan and Jess Stacy. No small potatoes. As of 1998, only Pete and Jack Sperling were the surviving members of this congenial group. Although Jack started with Les Brown. Jack is considered the guy to call for any demanding concert or recording session. He's a perfect time-keeper and can be as subtle as he can be dynamic, depending on the situation.

The music begins with a natural opener played quite differently, with a stop-time Fralish before the familiar main refrain of "Tiger Rag" leads to some very traditional New Orleans filigree. It's Pete all the way, sweet and swinging. "After You've Gone" lets Stan Wrightsman show off his best Bob Zurke groove. Pete returns with Jack on brushes and then a wonderfully coherent solo by bassist Morty. Before the ride-out, the vibe work of Hirsh delights. Stan opens "Tin Roof", telling us here's the bluest of the blues. Pete, with just the right mournful vibrato, takes many choruses, each somehow topping the other. I'm Gonna Stomp Mister Henry Lee" is another blues, credited to Jack Teagarden who first recorded it back in 1929. Stan Wrightman makes this is showpiece. It's full of unexpected pleasures and bears repeated listening. "Up A Lazy River" has been recorded by Pete Fountain many times and is a staple in his live appearances, so it is the one and only piece done in his standard routine: slow intro, double-time, solos by all and ride-out like gangbusters. What makes this version different are the soloists. They include Morty Corb and Stan Wrightsman and the interpolation of "With Plenty of Money and You", which neatly fits the same chord pattern. "Avalon", on the other hand, is an homage to Benny Goodman, especially in the descending riff on the resolving bars of the tune pairing clarinet and vibes that tore up Carnegie Hall at that fabled January, 1938 concert (Goodman and Hampton). Pete even uses Benny's patented coda to his opening theme, "Let's Dance". "A Closer Walk With Thee" is a required New Orleans tradition. It's is distinguished by Pete's low register work and the trading of melody and obbligato between Fountain and Hirsh. The overall tenor is humble and respectful.

Finally, "Hindustan" is the ultimate delight in this album and Jack Sperling is responsible. He opens with spaced rim-shots on tuned tom-toms. Jack says, "At the time, I used three or four torn-toms. I always tuned them the same but sometimes coincidentally it would work with the melodic pattern of a tune. In "Hindustan", this time, Pete would state a phrase, a bar or two, and I'd echo it on the drums... or the other way around. It was never precise, but I could approximate the tonality, either up or down. We picked up ideas from one another all the way." And Jack never, never lost the beat. The rest of the band joins in briefly, but it's mostly clarinet and drums. You'll never hear this tune again without remembering this concert version.

The flavor herein is Dixie-Swing, but, with Pete out front, there's a strong Crescent City exuberance and marching band vitality that propels everything. And, obviously, the musicians hate to bring any tune to a close. And how do you define Pete Fountain in summation? He simply says, "I liked Benny for his drive and technique, and Fazola for his warm sound and his blues and for the really New Orleans style, you know, George Lewis. So you put that together and you got... me!" Lucky for us.

Fred Hall is the internationally-syndicated host of radio's "Swing Thing" and author of the "Dialogues in Swing" series of books and his biography of Dave Brubeck, "It's About Time".

Liner notes by Fred Hall

Mr. New Orleans - MCA Records

Mr. New Orleans

1997 MCA Records MCAD-165
(Orginally released 1961 on Coral, 1963 on Decca)

CD Listing
1. South Rampart Street Parade
2. Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
3. The Second Line
4. Basin Street Blues
5. The Darktown Strutters' Ball
6. Marching 'round The Mountain
7. Over The Waves
8. Careless Love
9. Walking Through New Orleans
10. Sugar Bowl Parade
11. Farewell Blues
12. Washington And Lee Swing

Liner Notes:

Clarinet Solos With Orchestra Directed By Charles Bud Dant Originally released 1963 on Decca, DL7-5377 entitled Mr. New Orleans

Shrovetide, the period before Ash Wednesday, is a gay and active time of year in New Orleans. This pre-Lenten season culminates, there and in other southern cities, with the processions, masquerade balls and other entertainments associated with Mardi Gras, a day sometimes called Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.

Every Shrove Tuesday morning in recent years, at 9 a.m., a group of musicians and their non-musician friends have gathered at a tavern on St. Charles Street to launch one of the Crescent City's most colorful ceremonies. Pete Fountain, the founder of this marching society, has gone to some lengths to assure its vivid visibility. Special uniforms, brightly sprayed shoes and plumed hats are among the accouterments that draw undivided attention to the strutting members of the Half Fast Walking Club, as it is officially called.

"I was going down there for this year's parade," says Bud Dant, "to take part in it myself - I played mellophone - and to get a first hand view of the club. Pete's followers included a wide variety of personalities from all walks of life. One member of the parade was Cliff Arquette (Charlie Weaver), who brought along an old Civil War cornet. There was no real semblance of order in the parade, though none of us could go very far astray because the crowd kept us hemmed in."

We marched for about four hours, all the way up St. Charles Street to Canal, and past reviewing stand, in front of the Mayor and the television cameras. We played a lot of the same tunes you hear in this album, though of course without the organized sound that the music has here."

The most important link between the actual parade as it took place that day and the music as it is heard in this album is the strong, marching-music element of percussion. Taking part in these sessions was a remarkable quartet of drummers. One was Godfrey Hirsch, regularly Pete's vibraharpist. Here he plays a marching drum. Jack Sperling, drummer on most of the Foutain albums, plays snare, cymbal and occasionally a foot bass drum. Nick Fatool plays a field drum, which is a somewhat thicker snare. And Paul Barbarin, who led a ten-piece band in the parade, plays a vertical bass drum, with a little brass-rim of a cymbal on top. He marched into the studio with this drum, the legend "Onward Brass Band Of New Orleans" inscribed on it, and never sat down through the entire recording.

On Careless Love, Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet, Farewell Blues and Marching 'Round The Mountain this percussion team backs up a Dixieland ensemble comprising Jackie Coon on trumpet, Pete on clarinet and Moe Schneider on trombone. On all the other tracks a four-piece trombone team was added, consisting of Lew McCreary, Bill Schaefer, George Roberts (bass trombone) and Dick Nash or Dick Noel.

The rhythm section throughout is composed of Bobby Gibbons, banjo; Phil Stephens, tuba; and Morty Corb, bass.

The tempo accorded to the opening track, the Ray Bauduc - Bob Haggart South Rampart Street Parade, establishes both mood and pace for the entire set. It is neither too slow nor too fast; it just conforms, in fact, to the name of the club. Pete's lower register clarinet hits a fittingly mellow groove on the chorus. The arrangement was written by Don Bagley.

Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet, a head arrangement, has an opening statement by Coon, a beautifully meshed Dixieland ensemble, and solos by Fountain, Schneider and Coon, with the percussion section in command.

Matty Matlock's arrangement of the Paul Barbarin original The Second Line follows, with Pete riding over the ensemble in a buoyant manner recalling the best of the old Bob Crosby band. Heinie Beau's arrangement of Basin Street Blues pits Pete's melodic statements against the trombone section and places the fine ensemble lead of Coon in sharp focus.

The Darktown Strutters' Ball, another Beau score, was composed in 1917 by Shelton Brooks of Some Of These Days fame. Moe Schneider's Teagarden-like facility, Pete's purity of sound and style, and Phil Stephen's tuba break are noteworhty points. Marching 'Round The Mountain, Bud Dant's renovation of the traditional theme, has interesting passage in which percussion solo work is punctuated by Charleston beats from the horns.

Over the Waves, a Heinie Beau arrangement, makes ingenious use of Phil Stephens' tuba for a half chorus of melody (to Pete's obbligato) and an amusing coda.

Careless Love, a head arrangement, with Gibbons' gently strummed banjo figure against the theme, has a relaxed ad lib solo by Pete, toward the end, on this unshopworn 16-bar theme.

Walking Through New Orleans, which with minor variations has had such alternate identities as Maryland My Maryland and March Of The Bob Cats, was skillfully orchestrated by Bud Cant, whose treatment builds a stirring performance out of this simple tonic-dominant theme.

Sugar Bowl Parade was written by Godfrey Hirsch and Pete and arranged by Dant, who reports that the band played it at the Sugar Bowl and will retain it as a regular fixture in the parade. Note the ingenuity of the drum work after the first chorus, preceding Pete's solo.

Farewell Blues, an informal performance guided by Dant but virtually a head arrangement, offers more traditional-style Dixie, with impressive work by Schneider, Coon and Fountain.

Washington and Lee Swing, arranged by Matty Matlock, bears a resemblance to South Rampart Street Parade in the moderation of its tempo and the generally unhurried manner in which the band swings.

If the music on these sides has the same stimulating effect on you as on this listener, I guess we'll have a date to meet next Mardi Gras morning. Look for those plumed hats, in the vicinity of a tavern on St. Charles Street. And don't forget the struttin' starts at nine - so you'd better ready about half-past eight.

- Leonard Feather

Dixieland King - Tradition Records

Dixieland King

1998 Tradition Records TCD 1068 Mono

CD Listing
1. High Society
2. That's A Plenty
3. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
4. Up A Lazy River
5. Mahogany Hall Stomp
6. I'm Goin' Home
7. Margie
8. Farewell Blues

Liner Notes:

The Tradition reissue of this album includes new comprehensive liner notes.

Pete Fountain is the undisputed monarch of New Orleans jazz, and has been for decades. This album includes many gems from the early part of Fountain's career and showcases his ability as both band-leader and clarinetist. The jubilant energy of New Orleans comes through in every piece.

Pete Fountain came to national prominence as a clarinet player on The Lawrence Welk Show and is fond of telling the story of the time Mr. Welk asked him to go backstage and take over the bubble machine. He had never done it before and loaded the machine with too much juice. The result was bubble mayhem on stage.

This anecdote is a good little introduction to Pete Fountain, the man and the musician. You can hear this devilish prankster in every whimsical note of Dixie that flies through his clarinet on this album. But don't be fooled. Playing Dixie true to form is serious business.

Though some may see Dixie as simplistic and old fashioned, those who know better, and Pete Fountain does, will tell you that often the more simple it sounds, the harder it is to play. The more rigid the structure, the more difficult it is to project one's own voice. Pete Fountain does both and makes it sound natural and effortless.

There are many words that describe the music on this album: Melodic, energetic, sweet, fun, radical... Radical? Well, yes. This collection of Dixie standards was first released in 1959.

As many fans and historians know, 1959 was a benchmark year in the history of jazz. The year that saw the passing of Lester Young and Billie Holiday also gave birth to landmark albums by Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis. Davis' masterpiece, Kind of Blue firmly established modal jazz as a blueprint for much of the music's future - a style that dismissed the traditional chord structures of jazz's foundation. Modal music relied instead on players exploring melody and harmony in relation to an inverted musical idea or phrase.

Standing in sharp, if muted, contrast, was Pete Fountain. And, if in 1959 few saw the revival of Dixieland - the jazz style most firmly rooted in traditional chord structures - as a response to cool, this might serve as an interesting historical

From when the very first note of Pete's clarinet hits after the two bar introduction in "High Society," you know everything is going to be alright. Such is the sweetness and surety of his tone that as he darts in and around the trumpet's melody, a feeling of well-being should immediately pervade the listening area. And then comes the solo! Here Fountain shows his true mastery, running up and down and around scales with incredible range and speed. Of course, it's easy to miss speed, hidden as it is within his silky smooth attack and technique. To top it off, he then takes out his bass clarinet and breezes through another couple choruses a few octaves down - a pretty good introduction to the Pete Fountain style and range.

After a strutted run through of "That's A Plenty," the album's second cut, "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" finds Fountain in a slightly more contemplative mood as he makes his way almost mournfully through the theme. As the song progresses though, and the band begins to jump, the clarinet responds in kind. Here, it's fun to hear how Pete gets both melancholy and joy out of the same notes, as the clarinet gradually, but never completely, succumbs to the glee of the brass and rhythm section.

Following the introduction, the trumpet's working of "Up A Lazy River" includes some nice scale bending similar to the clarinets at the start of "Margie." The tempo here is decidedly slower than anything so far and the blues just drip off the notes.

As its name might suggest, "Mahogany Hall Stomp" marks a return to the upbeat. But, as if the bluesiness of the preceding tunes have had an effect, the tone here is more contemplative than the album's opening tunes. Which is not to say it isn't hot. The flame is just more blue than white. Trumpet leads off. followed by clarinet. The trumpet then returns in muted form and blows some impressive long notes.

"I'm Goin' Home is one of those songs which the adjective bittersweet was born to describe. While not exactly a traditional New Orleans second line, it does put one in mind of that final send off. But the sublime accented scales of the clarinet together with the occasional united trumpet punches, make it far more sweet than bitter - and serve as a strong argument against the playing of funeral dirges on such occasions.

As impressive as Pete is when he's noodling at high speeds. it's the slow. mellow, julep-sipping stuff that is most dramatic. "Margie" is an excellent example. On the opening phrase of the melody, Pete bends ablue note with exquisite force and subtlety). It's almost as if the turntable were suddenly spinning just a hit slower (And if l were listening to a vinyl copy. I might have checked). Then the love songs vocal is presented in that matter-of-fact. Hex. I don't really sing. but nobody else showed up for the gig. kind of was that works perfectly for this type of song. After the vocal, the trumpet piano and trombone run through the tune.

With "Farewell Blues" the album ends where it began. as Pete Fountain once again runs circles around everything without breaking a sweat. Too often, people dismiss Dixieland without really listening to it. Pete Fountain makes sure you pay intention. you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Basin Street Blues - Ranwood Records

Basin Street Blues

1995 Hamilton Records 3015-2

CD Listing:
1. Basin Street Blues
2. Honky Tonk
3. Tin Roof Blues
4. Georgia
5. Amazing Grace
6. It Had To Be You
7. Closer Walk With Thee
8. Up A Lazy River
9. Deep Purple

Liner Notes:

Distrubuted by Ranwood Records, A Welk Music Group Company
Compilation Produced By Bonnie Pritchard

Dixieland Way Down Yonder In New Orleans - Southland Records

Dixieland Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

1954 Southland Records SLP 214 Mono Only

Same LP was also published as "Jack Delaney & His New Orleans Jazz Babies" same catalog number, tracks and back cover, but has a different front cover. Southland commonly has two or three different covers for the same LP.

Side One
Jack Delaney, Trombone

Alvin Alcorn, Trumpet
Pete Fountain, Clarinet
Chink Martin, String Bass
Roy Zimmerman, Piano
Joe Capraro, Guitar
Monk Hazel, Drums-Mellophone

1. Shine
2. Sidewalks Of New York
3. Hindustan
4. Till We Meet Again

Side Two
Jack Delaney, Trombone

Raymond Burke, Clarinet
Lee Collins, Trumpet
Stan Mendelson, Piano
Abbie Brunies, Drums
Sherwood Mangiapane, Bass

1. Careless Love
2. Bucktown Drag
3. Who's Sorry Now
4. Basin Street Blues

Cover Design by Johnny Donnels

Liner Notes:

Dixieland from New Orleans: Naturally that's where it all started, back before the turn of the century. New Orleans - where the old time marching jazz came into being: Where Ragtime: Barrel House, old and present day Dixieland all originated: And the best Dixieland is still coming from this famous bend in the Mississippi.

Here's Recorded Proof.
The greatest names in jazz history were born right here in New Orleans. To name a few: Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Kid Ory, George Brunis, Paul Mares, Leon Roppolo, Irving Fazola, Eddie Miller, Monk Hazel, Santo Pecora, Lester Bouchon, Harry Shields. Every Crescent City boy hears so much music that he can't help developing a genuine interest in this Great Jazz.

There are always parades to inspire the kids. Jazz music is always with them, all year around, Dances, Parties, Celebrations. That's why so many New Orleans Jazz Men begin playing while they're still youngsters. Parents encourage the kids who show an interest in music - After all the older folks, too, have grown up in this parade-brass atmosphere.

It's little wonder that this environment must produce great jazz musicians. So here's real New Orleans-Dixieland music at its very best, and here is a veritable cavalcade of great New Orleans Jazzmen in two spectacular groups, each built around the young leader "Jack Delaney" and his unbelievable trombone. In the world of jazz a tasteful trombone is vital. Jack Delaney possesses all of the qualifications - tone, power, exceptional inventiveness. The ability to fit perfectly in the ensemble work, and a true tailgate style. We catch Jack on these sessions playing in three different styles: The Brunis Style, The Jack Teagarden Style and The Jack Delaney Style. No one enjoys playing more than Jack. He's got Dixieland in his heart. After you hear him on these sides you'll remember the name Jack Delaney, one of the next generation of great names in New Orleans Jazz. On side one you will hear the beautifully lyrical clarinet passages of Pete Fountain who will remind one of the late great Irving Fazola.

Opposite Pete Fountain we find the unique idea of the high-ranking Raymond Burke. On side one is the youthful sensation Alvin Alcorn from whose gleaming trumpet pours the whole tradition of the Crescent City, fine driving lead and exciting solos. On side two we find Lee Collins one of the jazz immortals who has been blowing the same kind of New Orleans horn for the past three decades - And better today than ever before. On piano side one we find Roy Zimmerman. Roy working freely and solid as we've rarely heard him. Onside two we find Stanley Mendelson a young man with old ideas, possessor of a truly great left hand, he has all the barrel house rock and a sincere and emotional style all his own.

Side one, Chink Martin using his string bass to perfection and lays down a big round tone. Side two we find the popular Sherwood Mangiapane; this bass-slaper deluxe would rather bleed to death than miss a beat. On side one we find Monk Hazel on drums and mellophone, Monk's name is famous where ever jazz is heard. Monk made a lot of music and still does. Monk Hazel heard on drums here, lays down a solid beat and plays more honest-to-goodness drums than you can find anywhere else in this hide beating generation. On side two we find the late Abbie Brunis on drums, drumming in good taste and his delicate handling of the rhythm is beautifully adequate. A special treat is the appearance of Joe Capraro on guitar on side one. Joe remains unchallenged in his mastery of the guitar and retains his enormous vigor and vitality after these many years. Joe maintains his position as a top Jazz Musician (after a lay off of twenty-five years) and is already for a hot session day or night.

Southland is proud of this album and proud to be able to work and record here in New Orleans, where session like this are possible and music can be made to delight the hearts of jazz lovers all over the world. After reading the multitude of wonderful reviews accorded Jack Delaney's heart warming horn on his first LP release we include these and other printed comments.

Particularly pleasurable is the full-tone expansiveness of Delaney's Tromhone." (Downbeat)

"Jack Delaney tracks are robust music played with a high degree of musicianship. His work on Southland is of high order. A big future for this boy." (Jazz Journal)

"Young Jack Delaney is improving with every week that passes. On South-land Records he can be heard playing delightful Trombone, easy swinging stuff in perfect taste, with a big tone and very original ideas. Jack is one of the most promising musicians in the states. A big future for this grand young musician." (Melody Maker: England)

"Jack Delaney's Trombone is mellow, round and big, It is very remindful of Miff Mole and Jack Teagarden combined. For such a youngster who is still learning, it is our prediction that this is the boy to watch. He's Got It, He Loves It, And he's not spoiled by the fuss that's being made over him." (Second Line - New Orleans Jazz Club)

"Jack Delaney is super extraordinary because that young man's syncopated ensemble blowing is outstanding, and this young man can really claim the singing tone. One of the finest Trombone men in the country today." (Alan C. Weber - Waterbury - Republican - Conn.)

- Joe Mares, Jr.

Native New Orleans Jazz - DOT Records

Native New Orleans Jazz
Tony Almerico And His Dixieland Jamboree Allstars
featuring Pete Fountain

1956 DOT DLP-3009 Monaural only

Side One
1. Bourbon Street Parade
2. I Want To Be Happy
3. Farewell Blues
4. I'm A Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas
5. How Many Hearts Have You Broken?
6. Near You

Side Two
1. Big Boy Blue
2. Woodchopper's Ball
3. Tail Gate Ramble
4. Basin Street Blues
5. I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You
6. I'm Saving Tonight For You

One of the rarest Pete Fountain albums.

Liner Notes:

The New Orleans of today is a very much more sedate town than the New Orleans of the 1920's when that great southern city was probably the widest of the wide open cities of a bubbling nation. But even now, as you walk up and down the streets of New Orleans, you feel a special excitement. It's in the air, like oxygen. At night, particularly, the charge of the New Orleans air is electrifying.

Feel your heart. It's beating to the tempo of dixie-land jazz! They say that if you allow your imagination a little play while you're walking along a New Orleans street on a lonely night, you will hear the legendary rhythms of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band echoing through every avenue and side street of the city.

Great Jazz Names
That little five-man group was one of the real pioneers of dixieland jazz. And the names of the men who played in the group are never-to-be forgotten names with musicians of the past and the present. (Dominique, "Nick" La Rocca blew the cornet, Henry Ragas played piano, Larry Shields, clarinet, Eddie Edwards, Trombone, and Tony Sharbaro, drums.) This quintet probably did more than any other band to establish and popularize the dixieland tempo that hundreds of millions have thrilled to and danced to over the years. They played the true New Orleans jazz in their day as Tony Almerico and his Dixieland Jamboree Allstars play it today - unchanged and unspoiled.

Fabulous Is The Word
Tony Almerico is one of New Orleans' fabulous characters. He has successfully resisted every offer to showcase his band around the country. Without ever leaving New Orleans he has won far flung fame and is credited with having done more than any present day New Orleans native in reviving dixieland jazz.

A revival it was, too, for Almerico formed his dixieland band at a time when even the birthplace of jazz was "going pop". In 1948, a few New Orleans' jazzmen noted that, with few exceptions, the local bands "were playing pop stuff" Dixieland jazz was being played on request - that is, at the request of the tourist trade. Out of this picture the New Orleans Jazz Club was organized.

The club's aim was to help perpetuate public interest in dixieland jazz. The club got together with Almerico and put on Sunday afternoon jazz concerts in New Orleans' Parisian Room, 116 Royal Street. The concerts became an immediate success.

King Jazz Reigns Again
It wasn't long before Dixieland jazz once again became king in the home of jazz. Today, attending the jazz session at the Parisian Room is the big thing of a Sunday afternoon. In 1955, the mayor of New Orleans, his honor deLesseps Morrison, awarded Almerico the city's Certificate of Merit for restoring dixieland jazz to its own home town. And Almerico's Allstar Band was the first dixieland jazz band ever to appear as guest orchestra at the Summer Pops Concerts at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorum.

For the record, the Dixieland Jamboree Allstars were organized on October 3, 1948, with:

Roy Zimmerman (piano)
Joe Loyacano (bass)
Frank Frederico (guitar)
Tony Almerico (trumpet)
Johnny Castaing (drums)
Pete Fountain (clarinet)
Jack Delaney (trombone)
Sam Dekemel (bugle)

DeKemel is known in music circles as "Sam, the Bugle Man". He blows an old regulation Army bugle and out of it come some of the wildest riffs ever. He started using the bugle to attract customers to his Waffle Wagon thirty five years ago!

One thing's certain: the jazz you'll hear when Tony Almerico leads his men at a Parisian Room jazz session is the real thing - unchanged, unspoiled - The same beat, the same tempo, the same feel that characterized the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and The Memphis Five, and Razz's Band before them.

Notes on Dixieland Jazz:
As everybody knows, it started in New Orleans. The earliest jazz groups were actually negro brass bands that played at parades, funerals, political and social functions, Musicians, discarding written scores, began improvising on their own to satisfy their own imaginations. A definite beat, or form, evolved and this became the root of dixieland jazz. Several bands sprung into popularity: Charles, "Buddy" Bolden's Ragtime Band was a big name in the early nineties. Others followed, each one featuring the big dixieland beat: Willie "Bunk" Johnson, Joseph "King" Oliver, Freddie Keppard's Original Creole Band.

Then came Razz's Bard, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, and the Memphis Five. Singers and great musicians were spawned during the years when dixieland was coming of age: the famed Ferdinand Morton was one of the greatest. A singer, pianist, arranger and composer of jazz, he was the best all-around musician produced in this New Orleans jazz period. Gertrude, "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith and Bertha, "Chippie" Hill topped the list of female singers. Clarinetists: Johnny Dodds, "Big Eye" Louis Nelson, George Lewis, Jimmy Noone, Lorenzo Tio, Jr., Lawrence Duke, Alphonse Picou and Sidney Bechet. (In 1917, another clarinetist started his own band and went on to highest attainments - Ted Lewis). Trombonists: Edward "Kid" Ory, Jim Robinson and Vonore Dutrey. Banjoist: Johnny St. Cyr (guitar and banjo). Pianists: "Jelly Roll" Morton, Fate Marable and Lillian Hardin (who became Mrs. Louis Armstrong).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? - GHB Records

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?

1991 GHB Records BCD-300

CD Listing:
1. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
2. Up The Lazy River
3. Ain't She Sweet
4. Blues For Ziggy
5. Alice Blue Gown
6. Basin Street Blues
7. Honeysuckle Rose
8. When The Saints Go Marching In

Special Thanks To Owen Bradley. Bobby Bradley
Recorded By Smokey Lawrence
Cover Design: Robert Nowicki / New Orleans

Pete Fountain. Clarinet, Leader
Merle Koch, Piano
Bunky Jones. Bass
V.J. Bourgeois. Drums

Liner Notes:

"Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?"

To the casual observer, the clarinet might initially appear to be subservient to the glamorous and gleaming trumpets and trombones. On closer analysis, the little woodwind assumes a far more important role in the "front line" of a traditional jazz band. Like File' powder spices a gumbo, the clarinet is capable of bringing out the true flavor of the music.

The clarinet's varying tonal and emotional qualities can weave wonderful effects. In its lower register the horn exudes a mellow warmth; it's middle range produces sensuous slurs and swooping explorations. Climbing into it's higher frequencies, it can soar eloquently to a lofty brilliance. Inexplicably, the city of New Orleans has produced an impressive succession of great jazz clarinetists since the turn of the century when Lorenzo Tio's E Flat clarinet cut through the street noise as the Excelsior Brass Band marched in the Vieux Carre.

Pete Fountain is the latest, and by far, the most successful, of the lengthy dynasty of New Orleans clarinet titans. He has held the scepter for many years and his popularity in New Orleans is tremendous - he could easily run for mayor - and be elected! I remember the first time I heard Pete Fountain. It was on a 78 RPM recording sent to me back in 1949 by the late Dr. Edmond Soutane II, a well known New Orleans physician and socialite who loved his city's music. The recording was "Cooking' With Atomized General Gas" - a radio commercial for the local gas company. The music was played by a group of young musicians called the Basin Street Six and featured a sixteen-year-old clarinetist, Pierre Dewey LaFountaine, Jr. The youngster demonstrated a flowing authoritative style that reflected a strong Irving Fazola influence. It was evident that this very talented youth was destined to achieve fame and fortune. say, is history.

This music was recorded by sound engineer Smokey Lawrence on July 22, 1983 before a small audience at Michele's Silver Stope, Merle Koch's saloon in Nevada's historic mining town, Virginia City. Working inventively within the intimacy of the quartet format, the Pete Fountain horn is heard at its maximum potential. The late Merle Koch, whose relationship with Pete Fountain dates back to 1959, provides an ideal piano accompaniment. Although Koch was unable to read music, every solo here is a gem. He had a unique style that gracefully blended the diverse textures of Bob Zurke & Jelly Roll Morton.

By devoting ten minutes each to four very familiar numbers, Pete Fountain's flowing inventiveness meets the challenge as he creates personal and highly expressive versions of these very familiar tunes. His elaborate exploration of Fats Waller's well known Honeysuckle Rose reveals harmonic and rhythmic variations that even Fats had never envisioned. When the Saints Go Marching In, certainly the most overworked of the traditional "war horse" tunes, gallops at a fresh pace, and establishes a new standard by which the gospel inspired song can be judged. We have heard Up A Lazy River umpteen times, but the elusive beauty of Sidney Arodin's swinging little melody has never been so impressively showcased. While Basin Street ran approximately northeast to southwest through the streets of old Storyville, Pete Fountain's version approaches the Spencer Williams standard from every possible direction and unleashes a varying sequence of moods and modes from funky to fervent - including a brief "Rhapsody in Blue" reference.

Drawing from a wide spectrum of musical hues, Pete shifts adroitly from the warm titian tone that enervates Ain't She Sweet? to a brooding cerulean mood on Blues For Ziggy, a variation on the venerable "Tin Roof Blues." (the moniker, "Ziggy," by the way, is Pete's nickname for his beautiful gold keyed clarinet.) Merle Koch's name, unfortunately, has fallen through the cracks of jazz history. Throughout his career, he maintained a low profile. He disdained publicity and never pursued fame or personal gain. He was completely dedicated to his music and preferred the slower pace and intimacy of his little saloon to the bright lights of more popular venues. Merle's death in 1987 was almost unnoticed and rippled few waves of despair in the jazz world. this CD is part of an obscure legacy that, hopefully, will eventually emerge to properly illuminate Merle Koch's name.

Richard "Bunky" Jones brilliantly handles the bass role and "V.J." Bourgeois, who died last year, plays very supportive drums. These veterans of the big band era are vital adjuncts to the quartet's pulse. Jones spent thirteen years at the Silver Stope playing beside Marle Koch and his many guest artists who appeared there. Jones' taunt manner of shaping a bass line adds a surging vitality most evident on Up A Lazy River and Honeysuckle Rose.

"V.J.'s" admirably simplistic approach to the music keeps an effusive (never obtrusive) rock-steady beat. Listen to the delicacy of his rhythmic counterpoint to Fountain's melodic lead on In My Sweet Little Alice Blue Gown, and his empathetic foundation for the swinging solos by Fountain and Koch on Up A Lazy River. I doubt very much if Pete Fountain Knows What It Means To Miss New Orleans - he seldom leaves his hometown. When he fulfills the important jazz engagements that occasionally take him to many parts of the world, he carries with him the vibrant spirit of the Crescent City that emerges joyously from the jewelled bell of his horn. Fortunately, for all of us, Smokey Lawrence was on hand when Pete Fountain visited his friend Merle Koch in Virginia City back in 1983; as a result, "Ziggy's" glorious sounds have been faithfully captured for release on this CD.

- Floyd Levin

Big Band Blues - Ranwood Records

Big Band Blues

2001 - Ranwood Records 8278-2

CD Listing
1. Avalon
2. Tin Roof Blues
3. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
4. It Had To Be You
5. My Blue Heaven
6. Georgia On My Mind
7. Basin Street Blues
8. Marie
9. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
10. Home
11. Shine
12. You Brought A New Kind Of Love
13. Up A Lazy River
14. Summer Wind

Produced by Steve Buckigham
Liner notes by Peter Levinson

Pete Fountain - clarinet
John Bahler -- musical director
D'Vaughn Pershing - piano
Rich Havens - drums
Dan Hall - bass
David Hungate - rhythm guitar
Matt Muhoberac - electric guitar
Dave Johnson - lead trumpet
Michael Manthey - trumpet
Wes Marshall - trumpet
Jay Daversa - trumpet
Carl Hose - lead trombone
Charlie Rastorfer - trombone
Jim Miller - bass trombone
Archie Wheeler - lead alto sax, clarinet
Chris Deusinger - alto sax, clarinet
Ron HeLuie - tenor sax, clarinet
Jim Murphy - tenor sax, clarinet
Bill Reder - baritone sax, clarinet

Liner Notes:

It's long been said that a jazz musieen expresses his own personality on his instrument. If this is so, Pete Fountain has long exhibited the openness, warmth, and vitality that are so much a part of him on his clarinet. He is the last of an exemplary breed of New Orleans Clarinetists, following in the tradition of George Lewis and Irving Fazola. This all comes together in Big Band Blues, Fountain's first big band offering in three decades.

When Pete was initially approached by Larry Welk, CEO of the Welk Music Group, about recording again with a big band he assumed he would come out to Los Angeles and front a band made up of recording studio veterans. Welk had a better idea - why not record in Branson, Missouriwith the New Lawrence Welk Orchestra, which has been working steadily there for years? The results contained here certainly show that indeed there is an essential difference between a band that plays together on a regular basis as against one that is put together for a recording.

There was an obvious rapport established between the 16-piece band and soloist early on in the recording process. In addition, the joyous spirit that has long been an integral part of Pete Fountain's clarinet playing is still very much in evidence.

Most of the material in Big Band Blues was not new to Fountain. He had played much of it previously with the Tonight Show band (which still tours sporadically) under the direction of "Doc" Severinsen. Pete was such a favorite of Johnny Carson that he appeared on The Tonight Show, some 58 times.

The revered Tonight Show guitarist and arranger Bob Bain originally wrote these charts specifically for Pete to play on the show over a period of years, but they were "opened up" from the 2-1/2- minute versions that were originally allotted to him. Some of the tunes most synonymous with Pete Fountain during his career are on display: "Tin Roof Blues," "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans," "Basin Street Blues," "Up a Lazy River," and "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." Not only was Bain a longtime member of The Tonight Show band, but he also played in the Bob Crosby band, which included the celebrated "Bobcats" group within the band. This tenure served as a further inspiration to Bain in his writing.

Pete said of Bain's arrangements, "They gave me a lot of room to roam - a lot of room to swing. The band was tight. I've always enjoyed working off great piano players like Stan Wrightsman and Ray Sherman. D'Vaughn Pershing in the New Welk Band is another wonderful pianist."

Pete's clarinet style once again shows the influence of the driving swing of Benny Goodman as well as Irving Fazola's fat, liquid sound on the blues. Actually, Pete still plays the clarinet Faz gave him many years ago. "It still has the garlic in it," said Pete facetiously. The CD opens briskly with "Avalon," a tune long associated with Benny Goodman; Bain and Ray Sherman arranged the out chorus to duplicate the one on Benny's original recording. The next two tracks, "Tin Roof Blues" and "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" display the exuberant New Orleans feeling Fountain brings to them. The former is perhaps the highlight of the CD with D'Vaughn Pershing's rollicking piano solo leading into an inspiring trumpet solo by Jay Deversa.

"It Had to Be You" is arranged in a rare up tempo vein. Again, the happiness so much a part of Fountain's playing is contagious as the saxophones and trumpets rise up wailing behind him, propelled by Rich Havens' powerful drumming. Right in the middle of "My Blue Heaven," a reference to the "Li'l Orphan Annie" theme creeps in played in the style of the original Lawrence Welk Band, which leads into the lively dixieland rideout.

"Georgia on My Mind" provides another example of the keen interplay between Fountain and Pershing. Dixieland fans will recognize the difference between Bain's arrangement of "Basin Street" and the more familiar treatment. The flavor of the tune is not lost, however, as it is played very much in the old "Bobcats" style. As Bain pointed out from his own experience, "Pete makes a rhythm section play," something very much in evidence here.

The "Marie" arrangement owes considerable to the famous Tommy Dorsey version, which Bob Bain often played when he was a member of the Dorsey band. Pete's clarinet takes the place of Dorsey's trombone. The well remembered Bunny Berigan trumpet solo is written for four trumpets for this rendition.

Pete's version of "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" helped make him a recording star on Coral Records. This familiar hymn also marks the first arrangement Bain wrote for Pete to play on The Tonight Show. Here is an example of how Pete often enjoys playing through an entire arrangement, rather than merely picking out solo opportunities.

"Home" is a song that has long been overlooked for recording. Pete brings back its essence with an exuberant yet plaintive solo. Bain once again reprised the sound of the Goodman saxophone section in arranging "Shine." Pete delivers one of his strongest and most passionate solos on this tune that has long been associated with Louis Armstrong. Following Pete's glorious solo on "You Brought a New Kind of Love," the arrangement ends with a familiar Count Basie riff.

Bain played guitar on the well remembered Nelson Riddle record of Summer Wind, with Frank Sinatra. He acknowledged that the sound of the saxophone section here closely follows the sound of the original. "I couldn't help but be inspired by what Nelson wrote," Bain recalled. Pete plays a series of staccato phrases on both "Up a Lazy River" and "Summer Wind" which adds a zesty flavor to close the CD.

John Bahler, the leader of the New Lawrence Welk Orchestra, remarked, "In making this recording, the guys hit their peaks at the same time that Pete did. We just loved working withhim because he's not only the sweetest guy in the world but a consummate professional."

Steve Buckingham, the producer of Big Band Blues, obviously enjoyed working on the project. The versatile Buckingham has produced some twenty-nine #1 hit records in various genres. He acknowledged, "As we sat in the recording truck listening to each performance, one could hear how Pete and the band were inspiring each other."

By Peter J. Levinson, Author of Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James and the forthcoming September In the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle.

Pete Fountain and His Basin Street Six - 504 Records

Pete Fountain and His Basin Street Six

1994 504 Records - 504CD15

CD Listing:
1. Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
2. South Rampart Street Parade
3. Angry
4. Bonaparte's Retreat*
5. Original Dixieland One-Step
6. Land of Dreams
7. Mahogany Hall Stomp
8. Royal Garden Blues
9. Sailing Down the Chesapeake Bay
10. Up a Lazy River
11. Milenburg Joys
12. Margie*
13. High Society
14. I'm Going Home
15. Farewell Blues

Pete Fountain - clarinet
George Girard - trumpet & vocal*
Joe Rotis - trombone
Roy Zimmermann - piano
Bunny Franks - string bass
Charlie Duke - drums

recorded in New Orleans

Liner Notes:

The Basin Street Six

These tracks were recorded by Joe Mares Jr. in the late 1950's at his Southland Studio on St Louis Street opposite Johnny's 'Po Boy' Restaurant, in the heart of the French Quarter. Although Joe had successfully run his own Southland record label for some years he sometimes leased or sold some of his sessions to other record companies. Rudi Blesh of Circle records had just such an arrangement with Joe and he released his own version of the Basin Street Six from Joe's sessions in the 1950's which included different titles and alternate takes and has since been reissued by George H. Buck on one of his own labels.

Joe Mares Jr., a clarinet player, was also the younger brother of Paul Mares who found fame leading the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and was also the co-composer of 'Tin Roof Blues', 'Milnenburg Joys', and other jazz standards. Naturally Joe was very proud of his brother and it is rumoured that he tried to recreate the New Orleans Rhythm Kings on some of his recordings, even resorting to a blackboard and pointer.

Pete Fountain who was born in New Orleans on July 3, 1930, was to find fame and fortune after the break up of the Basin Street Six in 1954, with his appearances on the Lawrence Welk Show, helped on his way by the magic of T.V. exposure. He had clubs on Bourbon Street which were a great attraction to tourists who visited the city in their hundreds.

In his early days Pete was the protege of the great Irving Fazola and was influenced by Eddie Miller when he doubled on tenor saxophone. Even to this day Pete Fountain is still a great tourist attraction at the Hilton Hotel, although his style is far removed from his Basin Street Six days.

Joe Rotis and the rhythm section were all older and more experienced musicians. George Girard, only three months older than Pete Fountain was to sadly pass away on January 17, 1957 in his 26th year, his exciting driving style to be heard no more, but he is still remembered in New Orleans with great affection.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Got Rhythm - Ranwood Records

I Got Rhythm

1997 Ranwood Records 8265-2
A Universal Music Special Markets MSD 37085

CD Listing:
1. I Got Rhythm
2. Those Were The Days
3. You Are My Sunshine
4. Shrimp Boats
5. Me And My Shadow
6. Blue Skies
7. Chicago
8. Mack The Knife
9. In The Mood
10. My Blue Heaven
11. When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smile At You)
12. Makin' Whoopee

Liner Notes:

Out Of print and becoming hard to find, grab this if you see it. Pete Fountain, takes us on a relaxing session with this compilation as he performs a few classic numbers. If you have always associated Pete Fountain as that great clarinetist playing dixieland, I Got Rythm, will pleasantly surprise you.

This is Pete Fountain with a full orchestra. It's Pete expressing his music in a new way. His clarinet is smooth with his signature high notes and rich low tones. Great for your dinner party background music or a relaxing drive in the country.

Live At The Ryman - Sacramento Jazz Records

Live At The Ryman

1988 Sacramento Jazz Records SJS-33-CD

CD Listing:
1 Way Do Yonder in New Orleans
2. Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans
3. Avalon
4. Up a Lazy River
5. Little Rock Get Away
6. Kansas City Stomp
7. Franklin & Johnnie
8. Stardust/Dixie Medley
9. St. Louis Woman

Liner Notes:

PETE FOUNTAIN - clarinet
MERLE KOCH - piano

Recorded live in 1988 at the famous Ryman Theater in Nashville, TN. Sound quality is good. Music style is a laid back, jazz set. Not the typical driving Dixieland style, but a mellow sounding five man band, heavy on the vibes. The actual artwork is real basic quality. Somewhat rare CD.

Request Records - Live Jazz From Club 15

Live Jazz From Club 15
Louis Prima / Pete Fountain

Inside 3 Page Booklet

2006 - Request Records 3-8004

CD Listing:
Louis Prima, with Gia Miaone featuring Sam Buttera and The Witnesses
Live From The Casbah Theatre of the Hotel Sahara, Las Vegas, Nevada 5/5/66

1. Theme: When You're Smiling
2. Oh Marie
3. Buona Sera
4. Imagination
5. I Love Paris In The Spring Time
6. Up Jumped A Rabbit
7. Georgia On My Mind
8. I Want You To Be My Baby
9. Baby Won't You Please Come Home
10. When The Saints Go Marching In

Pete Fountain Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Pete Fountain, His Clarinet, and His Orchestra
Live From The Blue Room of the Tropicana Hotel Las Vegas, Nevada 3/22/66

11. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
12. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
13. Struttin' With Some Barbecue
14. She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain

Liner Notes:

Recorded Live - Live Jazz From Club 15
Louis Prima With Sam Buttera & The Witnesses 1966
Pete Fountain, His Clarinet, and His Orchestra 1966

Highway 15 - The Road to Vegas

In the 1950s and 60s Las Vegas, Nevada built a reputation for being the playland getaway of the world. Casino lounges provided continuous entertainment from dusk to dawn at no charge except the cost of a drink. Comedians, burlesque shows, musicians, dancers and performers of all kinds entertained hotel guests in intimate showrooms. These lounges quickly became major attractions in their own right. FM Radio with stereo sound was gaining popularity and there, in the parking lot of Howard Hughes' Last Frontier Hotel, Mike Gold and his new FM station KLUC, began broadcasting.

His one problem was that not many people owned FM radios. So Mike came up with ingenious pro-motions one of which was a give away of 100's of small FM Radios - that could only be tuned to his station. Another, called "Three in a Row", was taken from what the people wanted at the slot machines, and this also proved to be a winning format for KLUC's song programming. That and free gasoline promotions kept their audience loyal and tuned in at all times.

1965 and 1966 saw top performers from around the world streaming into the new showrooms on the glittering Las Vegas strip, and Mike Gold was there to broadcast it live from coast to coast over his CBS Radio affiliate. Trucks would pull up to the hotels and connect to the Bell Telephone lines over which the broadcasts were transmitted. Then, in a deal made with the United States Government, he was also able to send these broadcasts live over the Voice of America Radio Network in exchange for advertising U.S. Savings Bonds. Now the people had their radios and the music was playing like never before.

While the musicians were jamming, and the sound was streaming over the telephone lines, Mike's wife Sylvia was sitting with the sound engineer making sure these classic performances would be preserved on tape.

When Mike and Sylvia retired to the lakes of Minnesota, the boxes of tapes followed them. Then in 2004 their grandchildren, David and Carey Lifson, decided that it was now or never to check the condition of the tapes and quality of the recordings. At the retirement home of the Gold's (newly remodeled with a recording studio by Carey) on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, the tapes were played and digitally recorded at the same time because it wasn't known if the tapes would survive more than one playing. Kluc-ally, the tapes held up and the recordings were preserved.

Forty years and Mike Gold have now passed, but a small testament to his legacy and a large addition to the music world has emerged in this collection of rare live radio broadcasts, featuring some of the all time great jazz and swing artists as they lit up the nights of fabulous Las Vegas.