The second of a dozen Dukes of Dixieland records recorded for Audio Fidelity in a four-year period (they were quite popular during this era) makes a big deal about introducing "The Duchess," singer Betty Owens (trombonist Fred Assunto's wife). However, Owens had recorded with the band on their first record in 1951, and as it turned out, her two decent vocals on this particular LP would be her last recordings with the Dukes. The main star of the group is trumpeter Frank Assunto, who is ably supported by brother Fred on trombone, father Jac on second trombone and banjo, clarinetist Jack Maheu, pianist Stanley Mendelson, Lowell Miller on tuba and bass, and drummer Red Hawley. Among the jams are "Slide, Frog, Slide" (a trombone feature), "The Sheik of Araby," "That Da Da Strain" and "After You've Gone." The Dukes would improve by the time of their Columbia recordings of the early 1960s, but they were already in fine form during their Audio Fidelity days.
You've Got to Hear It to Believe It, Vol. 2 Review
by Scott Yanow