Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mardi Gras - Santo Pecora and His Dixieland Band - Columbia Records

Mardi Gras
Santo Pecora and His Dixieland Band
featuring Pete Fountain

1950 Columbia Records SEB-10079 7" EP

Side One:
1. March Of The Mardi Gras
2. Mahogany Hall Blues Stomp

Side Two:
1. Listen
2. My Lou'siana

Liner Notes:

Recorded In June, 1950

Santo Pecora and His Dixieland Band

George Girard (trumpet)
Santo Pecora (trombone)
Pete Fountain (clarinet)
Armand Hug (piano)
John Sense (bass and tuba)
Santo Pecoraro (drums)

It was early in the 19th century that the term "Dixieland" was coined. A band in New Orleans issued a ten dollar bill on which was printed in large letters the French word disc, and from that time onward "Dixie" or "Dixieland" became the popular name for New Orleans and the Southern States. Nowadays the white musicians' way of playing Negro New Orleans jazz is always known as "Dixieland style".

The music on this record is typical of Dixieland jazz. Santo Pecora, one of the finest tailgate trombonists and a veteran of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and other early bands, has surrounded himself with a group that performs ruggedly yet with intimate ensemble feeling. Two outstanding soloists are Armand Hug, who began playing in the New Orleans French Quarter in 1923, and George Girard, one of a younger generation of New Orleans musicians.

March of the Mardi Gras takes its title from the annual Mardi Gras carnival, when New Orleans becomes a city of gay lights and exciting music. The old Louis Armstrong speciality, Mahogany Hall Blues Stomp, features Armstrong-like trumpet from George Girard and a liquid, lower register clarinet solo by Pete Fountain, as well as Armand Hug's crisp, two-handed piano playing and gruff-toned trombone work by the leader.

Listen is devoted to solos by trombone and piano. Pecora plays with a sensuous tone and agile phrasing, while Hug's piano is relaxed and inventive. My Lou'lsana a bright, lively tune, moves briskly, all the front line musicians taking nimble solos.

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