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Live Jazz From Club 15 by Various Artists

Here’s another release of material gathered from Las Vegas hotel broadcasts during the 1960s. The sessions went out live from various hotels via Mike Gold’s KLUC radio station to CBS and Voice Of America.

This CD pairs a couple of New Orleans natives in the form of Louis Prima and Pete Fountain. The Prima date was broadcast on May 5, 1966 from the Casbah Theatre of the Hotel Sahara. Prima is joined by his perennial partner Sam Butera and his group, The Witnesses. Gia Miaone handles the female vocal duties on "Imagination" and "I Want You To Be My Baby." Sadly, Miss Miaone fails to fill the shoes of Keely Smith who left Prima and the band six years earlier.

Louis Prima was a fixture in Las Vegas and had decades of jazz music in his past. The band is a delight to the Vegas audience but a mere shadow of a "jazz" outfit. The jovial leader is a true showman pumping Butera and the audience with witty quips.

While this album provides little information on the personnel, I’m guessing that Lou Sino is on trombone. The pianist and drummer are probably Kenny Harkins and Jimmy Vincent. Musically, it’s the typical Louis Prima club performance and his fans will find it satisfying.

The Pete Fountain tracks are by his quintet. The New Orleans clarinetist delivers some delightful jazz and even ventures an octave or more above his usual low register style. He sounded much as he did when he played with the old Phil Zito outfit as a teenager. He even throws in "She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain" from that original Zito session for Columbia records. Once again, personnel are not mentioned in the liner notes and I’m able to identify only Godfrey Hirsch who appears on vibraphone. There is also a fine piano player and an energetic drummer who might be Nick Fatool but I’m guessing.

These broadcast tapes were stored for decades until the late Mike Gold’s grandchildren decided to release them on CD. There is more material scheduled including Stan Getz, Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, George Shearing and Mel Torme.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various Artists
  • CD Title: Live Jazz From Club 15
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Request Records
  • Tracks: Louis Prima: Theme, Oh Marie, Buona Sera, Imagination, I Love Paris, Up Jumped A Rabbit, Georgia On My Mind, I Want You To Be My Baby, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, When The Saints Go Marching In. Pete Fountain: Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Struttin’ With Some Barbeque, She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain
  • Musicians: Louis Prima (vocal, trumpet) with Sam Butera (sax) and the Witnesses (tracks 1-10), Pete Fountain (clarinet) and his band (tracks 11-14)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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