Sunday, September 23, 2007

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.

No comments: