178

Pete Fountain with the New Lawrence Welk Orchestra: Big Band Blues

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
When writing in a recent review about the scarcity of top–notch Jazz clarinetists on the scene today, I managed to overlook one — a pardonable error, as Pete Fountain has been sequestered for so long in his native New Orleans that it’s fairly easy for him to fly under one’s radar screen. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that Pete’s a master of his instrument, or that he’s quite comfortable in any context from duo to big band (even though he hadn’t recorded with a large ensemble for thirty years before taking part in Big Band Blues ). While Fountain is a sure bet, the “new” Lawrence Welk Orchestra is something else again. Even though I never thought I’d be using the words “swing” and “Lawrence Welk” in the same sentence, I must admit that Welk’s orchestra, now directed by John Bahler, can — and does — swing when it has to. The band is composed of capable musicians who lend Fountain admirable support on every number. Its role, however, is strictly back–up, as Pete is the lone soloist. These are songs he knows like the back of his hand, and could probably play blindfolded and with only one hand. That’s not meant to suggest, however, that he doesn’t give each one a pleasurable ride. One would expect no less from Fountain, especially when performing with an orchestra whose departed leader gave him his career–making gig in 1957. If you’re one of Pete’s many fans who’ve missed hearing his mellow clarinet since Welk’s long–running television show left the air, this album should give you ample reason to smile. “As we sat in the recording booth listening to each performance,” says producer Steve Buckingham, “one could hear how Pete and the band were inspiring each other.” It would have been nice had the inspiration lasted beyond forty–seven minutes, but that’s better than nothing. For Welk / Fountain enthusiasts, candy for the ears.

Contact:Ranwood Records, 2700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404.


Track Listing: Avalon; Tin Roof Blues; Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans; It Had to Be You; My Blue Heaven; Georgia on My Mind; Basin Street Blues; Marie; Just a Closer Walk with Thee; Home; Shine; You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me; Up a Lazy River; Summer Wind (47:17).

Personnel: John Bahler, music director; Pete Fountain, clarinet; Dave Johnson, Michael Mantley, Wes Marshall, Jay Daversa, trumpet; Carl Hose, Charlie Rastorfer, trombone; Jim Miller, bass trombone; Archie Wheeler, Chris Deusinger, alto sax, clarinet; Ron HeLuie, Jim Murphy, tenor sax, clarinet; Bill Reder, baritone sax, clarinet; D

| Record Label: Ranwood | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by John Kelman
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Surrounded by the Night" CD/LP/Track Review Surrounded by the Night
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Joseph Kudirka:  Beauty and Industry" CD/LP/Track Review Joseph Kudirka: Beauty and Industry
by John Eyles
Published: March 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!