Sunday, February 3, 2008

At The Jazz Band Ball With Pete Fountain's Dixieland All Stars - Tempo Records

At The Jazz Band Ball
Pete Fountain's Dixieland All Stars

1959 Tempo Records EXA-93 7" EP (UK Import)

Side One:
1. Farewell Blues
2. At The Jazz Band Ball

Side Two:
1. March Of The Bobcats
2. Jazz Me Blues

Liner Notes:

Al Hirt
Abe Lincoln
Pete Fountain (Clarinet)
Eddie Miller (Tenor Saxophone)
Stan Wrightsman (Piano)
Morty Corb (Bass)
Ray Bauduc (Drums)

In the city of New Orleans there are now many different forms of jazz which flourish in the clubs and cafes. And this is right for New Orleans was, after all, where it all started sometime back, about the 1880's. Though it is an indescribable shame that the old folk jazz is now finally dying out, practiced by only a few of the older musicians, it is, nonetheless, comforting to know that New Orleans still has Jazz. In fact, New Orleans has a considerable amount of jazzmen who still make a living in the Crescent City. Many of the younger men - Pete Fountain for instance - are no longer playing the same way as did their fathers and uncles, but the jazz they produce still swings in proper Southern fashion and, wherever they play, they carry with them the sound, the feeling of their great parent city.

Pete Fountain, a musician who evidently favours the late Irving Fazola, was born in New Orleans on July 3rd. 1930. He had a good start in jazz for his father, Peter Dewey Fountain. Sr., played drums and violin with various jazz bands in the Biloxi, Miss., area, and so young Pete came across the sound of jazz at a very early age. In 1942, when Pete Fountain was 12 years old, he joined the school band and it was then that he first decided to study clarinet. He proved to be a first rate pupil for, by 1948, he was playing regularly with the Junior Dixieland Jazz Band. In 1949-50 he had a spell with the Phil Zito band and then, in 1950, he really began to make a name for himself with the Basin Street Six. Then, in 1954, Pete Fountain decided that the time had come for him to front his own band and this certainly turned out to be a sound decision for he has been doing so, successfully, ever since. His success has caused him to make several trips to Chicago and the West Coast, where he is a great favourite with the lovers of clean, crisp Dixieland music, but, on the whole, he has stayed at home in New Orleans.

Here Pete Fountain is joined by two members of the old Bob Crosby Bobcats. Tenor man, Eddie Miller, has long been one of Pete Fountain's favourite instrumentalists which must have made this session even more of a pleasure for Pete: Ray Bauduc, a fine drummer who helped to swing the Crosby band for so long, is the other ex-Bobcat. With Abe Lincoln, an experienced trombonist from the late thirties, the pleasing Stan Wrightsman, Al Hirt and Morty Corb, the group produces a dynamic. swinging jazz which owes a great deal to small groups of the Swing Era.

And all this goes to prove that jazz is where you find it... mainly in New Orleans.

- JACK BAKER C 1959 by Tempo Records, London

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