Louis Prima & Keely Smith

Live from Las Vegas

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Of all the recordings in Capitol's Live from Las Vegas series, this set by Louis Prima and Keely Smith with Sam Butera & the Witnesses is a standout. For Prima fans, it's a treasure trove since only six of the disc's 19 tracks have been previously issued in any form. Recorded in 1958 during the act's long-running stint at the Sahara's Casbah Theater and featuring superb editing that retains much of the stage banter and the pair's often humorous antics, it offers listeners the spontaneity and feel of a single live set in the moment. The sound is simply stellar; warm, full, and immediate, its presence gives one the impression of being in the room. As evidenced here, Prima and Smith often worked out new material in front of their nightly audiences. Mistakes are left in, making this all the more prescient. The track list ranges from the familiar, like "Buona Sera" (Prima), "Robin Hood" (Prima), "Autumn Leaves" (Smith), and "Greenback Dollar Bill" (Butera), to a debut recording of "Nothing Can Replace My Man" (Smith) and killer renditions of "White Cliffs of Dover" (Prima), "Too Marvelous for Words" (Prima), and "Don't Take Your Love from Me" (Smith). These collaborative performances are one of a kind. They underscore that while the studio recordings were of high merit artistically, it is as a live act that the pair established their legendary reputation. In fact, what is presented here lends a lot of weight to the claim that Prima and Smith virtually invented the Vegas lounge act. Live from Las Vegas is a hip and unceasing swingfest from top to bottom, with great humor, inspired singing and musicianship, and hipster vibes. For those who checked out Prima during the lounge revival, this is one for your next bash. For those who have been longtime disciples, this is the Holy Grail.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
feat: Louis Prima
4:53 Amazon
2
feat: Keely Smith
2:11 Amazon
3
feat: Louis Prima
5:55 Amazon
4
feat: Keely Smith
2:53 Amazon
5
feat: Sam Butera
3:19 Amazon
6
feat: Keely Smith
2:40 Amazon
7
feat: Louis Prima
5:17 Amazon
8
feat: Keely Smith
2:39 Amazon
9
feat: Louis Prima
2:28 Amazon
10
feat: Louis Prima
3:55 Amazon
11
2:45 Amazon
12
feat: Sam Butera
3:13 Amazon
13
feat: Keely Smith
2:23 Amazon
14
feat: Louis Prima
1:53 Amazon
15 2:56 Amazon
16
feat: Louis Prima
3:39 Amazon
17
feat: Keely Smith
4:04 Amazon
18 1:53 Amazon
19
1:17 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick