Joe´s Music Rack
YOUR KEY TO COLLECTIBLES©
Minstrel Time With
The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland
Dukes of Dixieland
Audio Fidelity...AFLP 1861...A/B...1957...33 1/3 LP...Hi-Fi
1) Dixie - Arr: Assunto/Frey...3:03
2) Swanee - Gershwin/Caesar...2:30 (2:28)
3) Alabamy Bound - Henderson/DeSilva/Green...3:20
4) Old Kentucky Home - Arr: Assunto/Frey...2:25
5) Swanee River - Arr: Assunto/Frey...2:51
6) Georgia Camp - Arr: Assunto/Frey...2:43
1) Wait 'Til The Sun Shines Neillie - Arr: Assunto/Frey...2:31
2) Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair - Stephen Collins Foster - Arr: Assunto/Frey...2:39
3) Dinah - Akst/Lewis/Young...3:41
4) Ida - Munson/Leonard...3:49
5) Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home - Arr: Assunto/Frey...2:49
6) Alexander's Ragtime Band - Irving Berlin...3:43
ON THE BACK OF THE JACKET
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 * Tommy Rundell - drums *
Bill Porter - tuba and string bass
New Orleans has a special place in the story of jazz, and The Dukes of Dixieland have a special place in the story of New Orleans. As natives of this city rich in musical tradition, The Dukes of Dixieland knew from childhood on that everything in the city was competitive. But they had one advantage over most other bands. While most New Orleans band musicians had trades at which they worked during the day-bricklaying, carpentry, cigar making or selling-the Dukes from the time they were in high school filling only occasional playing dates aspired to be full-time professionals. It was little wonder, therefore, that New Orleans folks, because of their enthusiasm over the Dukes´ playing, kept them working at the Famous Door night club for 44 months. It is also little wonder that the Dukes´ playing represents Dixieland at its best.
In its original form Dixieland was a good deal like ragtime. In fact, modern Dixieland is actually ragtime in orchestral form, except that it is also more complicated rhythmically. Because the style of New Orleans music as it sounded around 1915 had a rambling effect, some of its devotees assert that it is "polyphonic." This has no basis in fact. Authorities for the most part agree today that the style of New Orleans music in its early 20th century form was conceived and executed harmonically. However, true as this may be, the fact is that modern Dixieland exploits melodic line much more than harmony. At the same time. Dixieland today has the kind of structure in which harmonic color is subtly achieved by ingenious interval combinations.
Where old-time New Orleans music often dragged rhythmically, modern Dixieland is lively and provocative. Where New Orleans music often involved superficial farce-like sound effects, contemporary Dixieland employs little imitation, and in fact is a comparatively serious jazz form which exploits striking instrumental combinations. Where New Orleans music originally called for a potpourri of instruments each of which tried in haphazard fashion to outdo the other, modern Dixieland involves a closely-knit ensemble including such instruments as cla-inet, trumpet, trombone, tuba, string bass, drums, piano and banjo or guitar.
The Dukes of Dixieland have a style stemming basically from that of the original Dixieland band, which enjoyed its peak popularity during the early part of the 20th century. Actually The Dukes are a perfect illustration of a kind of feedback in jazz whereby contemporary musicians perform in the humble tradition of Negro song and dance bands on street corners years ago. But where other jazz combos attempt to sound like these song and dance bands of yesteryear-slow, easy-going and even lazy-The Dukes have a more virile style that imparts considerably more character to whatever they play. Their interpretation of songs going back as far as the gay nineties has a kind of modern dynamic quality which places them apart from any other contemporary combo.
Using special arrangements that are planned in detail before a single note is played. The Dukes achieve overall maximum freedom of design. At the same time, instrumental ideas and harmonies are worked out with a view towards getting a closely-knit texture. As Jac Assunto says, "We try to get each instrument to bite with real guts. However, the chief object is to secure a richer harmonic texture, to make every note mean something."
The Dukes learned their work methods the way hundreds of other New Orleans musicians did. They lived with music day and night. They lost no opportunity to observe. They had the privilege of absorbing what they could from many of the musical "greats" who played New Orleans-Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Sidney Bechet, Dave Brubeck, Bunk Johnson, John A. Provenzano, Billy Taylor, Jelly Roll Morton and others. Those who were before their time they got to know by reputation and by what they had left behind in the way of tradition. From the very beginning The Dukes were meticulous, even arbitrary, about technical and stylistic perfection. Such is their musicianship and versatility that all the members of the combo are top-flight virtuosos. Yet, when they put this musicianship and versatility together, they manage to achieve first class virtuosity, while giving the impression that their playing has the casualness of a free-for-all or a jam session.
a study in STEREOPHONIC HIGH FIDELITY
THE DUKES OF DIXIELAND illustrate the typical Horatio Alger story applied to a group of jazz musicians. The combo was started on its career in 1947, when two brothers named Frank and Fred Assunto got together a small high school band to play Dixieland in New Orleans, their home town. The band rehearsed faithfully every" day after school, and as the Basin Street Four, Five, Six, etc., depending on how many players they could round up, established a solid reputation as junior porfessionals in an eatery on the outskirts of the city.
The turning point in their career came when they learned that the Horace Heidt weekly radio show was to visit New Orleans on a talent hunt. The Assunto brothers rounded up enough players for a seven-piece band, rehearsed a few numbers madly and played on the show. So enthusiastic were the reviews they received that they were invited to join the Heidt show on tour. They traveled with the show for five or six weeks known as the Junior Dixie Band, and such was their success that they decided to turn professional.
The Assuntos and their fellow bandsmen returned to New Orleans, pooled monies earned with the Heidt show, bought themselves uniforms, and turned professional. They also changed their name to The Dukes of Dixieland, and set about getting themselves, engagements. Such has been their success that they have had a series of long engagements in top night spots throughout the country.
Besides Frank and Fred Assunto, the combo has a "spark plug" in the person of Jac Assunto, their father, who is known as "Papa Jac" in the band. Jac looks more like a stock-and-bond man than a musician. In fact, beneath his musical exterior is a mind well versed in the ways of business administration, with a degree from Tulane University to prove that he learned these ways thoroughly. Jac has been an inspiring force in the combo, and the pride of his life is his two sons; also Betty Owens, Mrs. Fred Assunto in private life and "the Duchess" in professional circles. Betty is a featured singer with the band. This recorded production is Volume V of a series entitled "The Dukes of Dixib´and" (You have to hear it to believe it!)
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The Dukes of Dixeland
Minstrel Time With The Phenomenal Dukes of Dixeland Volume 5 Section
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