Joe´s Music Rack
Part of


The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland

Volume 2

Dukes of Dixieland

The Dukes of Dixeland - The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 2 The Dukes of Dixeland - The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 2

Audio Fidelity...AFSD 5840...A/B...1959...33 1/3 LP...Stereo

Side 1
1) Sweet Georgia Brown - Pinkard...6:34
2) Slide, Frog, Slide - Barbarin...1:55
3) Dill Pickles - Johnson...1:55
4) Basin Street Blues - S. Williams...3:27
5) My Blue Heaven - Whiting...2:30
6) Sheik of Araby - Snyder...2:25

Side 2
1) Mama Don' 'Low - Davenport...4:56
2) Mocking Bird - Assunto/Frey...2:54
3) Limehouse Blues - Ferber...2:48
4) That Da Da Strain - Medina...4:07
5) After You've Gone - Layton...2:09
6) Ain't She Sweet - Ager...2:17

The Dukes of Dixeland - The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 2 The Dukes of Dixeland - The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 2


The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 2

The Dukes of Dixieland, ...YOU HAVE TO HEAR IT TO BELIEVE IT!

Frank Assunto - trumpet * Fred Assunto - trumbone * Jac Assunto - trombone and bango *
Jack Maheu - clarinet * Stanley Mendelson - piano * Red Hawley - drums *
Lowell Miller - tuba and string bass

As The Duchess, Betty Owens adds just the right touch to complete the Dixieland ensemble. You might call her the frosting on the cake, and she both looks and sounds it. Betty´s slightly throaty voice, subtle body movements coordinated with the beat of the music, and her remarkable instinct for extracting the essence from any tune makes her a natural with The Dukes.

When the Dukes of Dixieland whip up a southern type storm with their inimitable jazz combo, something remarkable happens. It´s like a tidal wave of sound that unexpectedly comes up from nowhere and engulfs you. It´s like a fire which suddenly erupts all around, leaving you overcome. And no wonder! Take seven virtuoso jazz artists, put together their solid musicianship, fabulous technique, youthful imagination, and flair for instrumental dash and abandon and you get a by-product no jazz fan can resist. It´s a breathtaking, earth-shaking kind of musical spontaneous combustion. Add to this the magic of high fidelity, and you have something really overwhelming.

Taking their inspiration from the famous, original Dixieland Band, The Dukes of Dixieland have evolved a highly individual old time New Orleans style of jazz. They have a genius for taking almost any piece and, however ancient it may be, converting it into something that sounds ultramodern and super-sophisticated. Most present-day combos specializing in Dixieland go in for a kind of free-for-all or jam session in which each player takes his turn at improvising a bit. The Dukes, however, have worked together as an ensemble for years. As a result, they are a closely knit group in which each member is a true virtuoso while at the same time playing the role of an equal partner.

Instead of using music written out in detail, The Dukes play from special arrangements which are planned orally as instrumental lines and harmonies are worked out. Compounding this method of learning new pieces with their electrifying enthusiasm and solid musical instinct, The Dukes convey the impression that they are improvising. And this is one of the most difficult of all feats when it comes to playing jazz. If you listen carefully to a few of the celebrated classics contained in this recording-"Sheik of Araby," "My Blue Heaven," "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Ain´t She Sweet" - you´ll see how subtly they achieve the effect of appearing to improvise.

The term "Dixieland" originates from Daniel Decatur Emmett, a southland composer who wrote a tune called "Dixie´s Land," which was first played in public in 1859. It had the essential style of the kind of jazz that has come to be known as Dixieland. There were other sources for the word, including "Dixey Land," one of the names used for Dixie´s Line or the Mason and Dixon Line. This was drawn in 1769 on the basis of a line surveyed by Mason and Dixon, two English astronomers. This line eventually came to be the line separating the slave states from the free states. The word Dixieland for many years was fairly loosely applied to many things associated with the territory south of this line.

Dixieland as a style of jazz has no distinct or formal structure. It´s more of a style best described as a group of melodies which are heard simultaneously and which combine in an end-product that is equally important harmonically and melodically. Although Dixieland fans like to talk about the polyphony of this style, their notion that original New Orleans jazz contained a lot of natural counterpoint is pretty much exaggerated. Authorities generally agree that real New Orleans jazz style was originally conceived harmonically, played harmonically, and demanded the same basic concern about chord structure that is called for in every form of modern jazz. On the other hand, while harmonic color in modern-day Dixieland is Considered very important, it is secondary to melodic line.

The original Dixieland Band wasn´t exactly a howling success in New Orleans. For this reason, jazzmen have come to use the term Dixieland, rather than New Orleans, in describing this type of jazz. Perhaps one of the chief reasons for the lack of success of the original New Orleans style is that bands attempted to use too many crude imitative effects in trying to produce farce-like sounds. Modern jazz virtuosity and sophistication have pushed such devices to the background.

Basic Dixieland instrumentation calls for trombone, trumpet, clarinet, string bass, drums, piano and banjo or guitar. Of course, all sorts of combinations can be used. As far as Dixieland rhythm is concerned, things have changed considerably over the years. Early New Orleans jazz usually contained a strong and weak beat, commonly known as a "two-beat." Modern-day jazzmen prefer to follow a straight, unaccented four-beat rhythm. It´s a lot more sophisticated and polished technically, even though the original New Orleans rhythm had much vitality.


THE DUKES OF DIXIELAND, like a cyclone, have swept up from the southland and moved across the nation overwhelming everything and everyone in their path. They take great pride in their dad, Jac Assunto, known in the combo as Papa Jac.
Papa Jac joined the band in 1955 as a featured soloist on both banjo and trombone. He was on temporary leave of absence from his school teaching duties to till in while the Duchess took time off to present Papa Jac with his first grandchild. Overnight he became a "regular" and the leave of absence has since become permanent.
Short, stocky, looking more like a banker than a jazzman, and boasting but concealing a degree from Tulane University in business administration, Jac has served as a driving force with The Dukes. Pride of Jac´s life are his two sons, Frankie and Freddie, brass virtuosi of the combo; Betty Owens, known in the combo as The Duchess, and in private life Mrs. Fred Assunto; and, of course, two new grandchildren.
The Dukes began life as a combo back in 1948, when Frankie and Freddie formed a small high school band to play Dixieland. They took the name Basin Street Four, Five, Six, etc., depending on how many players they could corral whenever they decided to gather to make music. The band held rehearsals after school, and on week-ends they worked in a seafood restaurant on the outskirts of New Orleans.
When Horace Heidt visited New Orleans on a talent hunt, the Assunto brothers got wind of his visit and put together a seven piece band. They rehearsed like crazy, and for their playing on the Heidt talent show won kudos from everywhere. For the occasion they had-changed their name to the Junior Dixie Band. Their success on the Heidt show earned them an invitation to tour with the bandleader. This they did for several weeks, and their experiences prompted them to turn professional.
They hotfooted it back to New Orleans, used the cash they had earned to buy uniforms and join the Musicians´ Union, and changed their name to The Dukes of Dixieland. Since then, their career has been marked by one triumph after another at top night spots in New Orleans. Las Vegas, Chicago and elsewhere.


This High Fidelity Stereophonic Recording was produced the Prey Stereophonic Curtain of Sound* technique.
When heard on a balanced playback system, the element cians on the recording will be reproduced in the exact directjonally, as at the original performance. This origina technique to produce a pure, true stereophonic effect so that the instruments or elements of the recording are perfectly relocated as to direction of sound is an Audio Fidelity development and is true stereophonic reproduction.
This recording was made on an Ampex 350-2 with special electronic circuitry, using Altec, Electrovoice, RCA, and Telefunken microphones. The masters were cut with an automatic Scully Record Lathe mounting a Westrex 45-45 cutter with special feedback electronic circuitry driven by custom 200 watt amplifiers.
Precision mastering was done so as to achieve maximun stylus velocity consistent with minimum distortion, resulting in the ultimate in channel separation and realizing the greates possible signal-to-noise ratio.
While the total frequency range of 16 cps to 25,000 cps on this record may not be within the range of ordinary human hear nevertheless inspection of the grooves with a microscope will show the etchings of the upper dynamic frequencies. It is the opinion of the manufacturer that if these frequencies were omitted from this record a certain warmth of tone that is felt and sensed rather than heard would be lost. For this reason and to achieve the ultimate in our "Studies in HIGH FIDELITY STEREOPHONIC Sound" we have gone to these extreme electronic lengths.
Although any 33 1/3 RPM stereophonic record playback equipment may be used in playing this recording, it is recommended that playback equipment of extreme wide range and fidelity be used so that the recording may be enjoyed to its utmost.

Low Frequency Limit.......................................16 CPS
High Frequency Limit................................25,000 CPS
Crossover......................................................500 CPS
Rolloff............................................13.75 DB at 10 KC

Write for free catalogs listing the latest Audio Fidelity monaural, Stereodisc* and Stereo Mastertape* releases:

Audio Fidelity, 770 Eleventh Avenue, New York 19, New York

Audio Fidelity Records produced and release the world´s first Sterephonic High Fidelity record (Stereodisc*) in November, 1957.

A Study in Sterephonoic High Fidelity

Photography: Bob Witt

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The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 2

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