Pete Fountain

New Orleans All Stars

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The blurb on the back of this CD says that "this comprehensive collection of various sessions features inspired solos by Fountain, pianists, trombonists, trumpeters, and even the occasional tuba player." Pity that no tuba player ever appears. With all due respect to liner note writer Allen Lowe and the others involved in this reissue, one wonders if any of them actually heard the music. Although a personnel listing is given for the entire set, it only applies to the four live songs, and even then there is no second reed (despite the listing of Lester Bouchon). The unlisted Sam DeKemel is well showcased on "Bugle Call Rag"; the other main players are clarinetist Pete Fountain, trumpeter Tony Almerico and trombonist Jack Delaney. Two other songs match Fountain with a restrained Al Hirt on trumpet. The mistitled "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree" (from another session altogether) is actually an unidentified ballad with a charming, if occasionally faltering, Bix Beiderbecke-oriented trumpeter, a conventional six-piece unit and no Fountain. For the punchline, "St. James Infirmary" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" has a personnel bearing no resemblance to what is listed (with trumpeter Buck Clayton, Bud Freeman on tenor, trombonist Vic Dickenson and clarinetist Pee Wee Russell). This is probably the first time that Pee Wee Russell has been identified as Pete Fountain. Everyone involved in this misfire should be embarrassed.

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