New Orleans clarinetist Pete Fountain, takes us on a smooth ride with this CD as he performs some familiar classic Big Band tunes. The title of this CD: A Touch Of Class, caught my attention because having heard Pete Fountain for many years in a variety of diffrent bands and settings, I for one have associated Pete Fountain/clarinet/dixieland respectively in that order and still do.
After purchasing this CD and then looking at the song titles as I was listeng to them at home, I was pleasantly surprised.Why was I surprised ? Because this is Pete Fountain with a full orchestra, strings and all. It's like a whole new way of Pete expressing his music. His clarinet is crystal clear and of course he is the soloist on all 18 tracks. But Pete still gives us those high notes and rich low tones that he has come to be known famous for.
One might listen to this CD and be transported back to the days of Pete Fountain featured on the Lawrence Welk show. With this statement I mean to say that with a full orchestra and the Fountain clarinet, you have plenty of tonal depth and Fountain does add a touch of class to every song featured here and he does it his way: smooth, very effortlessly and appealing.There are several tracks that do sound like dixieland however, the closest track on this CD to dixieland would probably be track eight: C'est Si Bon. On this track, Fountain's clarinet sounds like that of Benny Goodman. And then on track twelve : Mood Indigo , the listener may think he his listening to Artie Shaw, another great rendition of this classic tune given buy Fountain.
Overall, this is a great departure from traditional dixieland for Pete Fountain and a great sounding/relaxing CD. I give it two thumbs up and if you like clarinet I suggest you buy it !
Track Listing: 1.La Vie En Rose 2.Autumn Leaves 3.I Love Paris 4.Two Loves Have I 5.Comme Ci, Comme Ca 6.April In Paris 7.Tout De Suite 8.C'est Si Bon 9.C'est Magnifique 10.Miss Lucy 11.My Man 12.Mood Indigo 13.The Song From Moulin Rouge 14.Your Cheatin' Heart 15.Fa So La Blues 16.You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You 17.Frere Jazz 18.Rhapsody In Blue