Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Listen Or Die? #4 - The Wildest!...





THE WILDEST!
by Louis Prima (1956)
Running Time: 32:00




1. Medley: Just A Gigolo - I Ain't Got Nobody
2. (Nothing's Too Good) For My Baby
3. The Lip
4. Body and Soul
5. Oh Marie
6. Medley: Basin Street Blues - When It's Sleepy Time Down South
7. Jump, Jive, An' Wail
8. Buona Sera
9. Night Train
10. (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal


Welcome back to the 1950s. That's right, we're still in that real swell decade and we're having a ball. Not completely true though... last week we were having a bit of a barf with The Louvin Brothers. Why am I talking like this? I found a 1950s slang site... that's why. I'll stop now, you filthy beatniks. I'm about to listen to Louis Prima's The Wildest! Going in, I know absolutely nothing about Mr Prima and his typical sound, so your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not this album will fall into the most excellent LISTEN category, or the dreaded DIE. 


Approaching opening medley 'Just A Gigolo - I Ain't Got Nobody' with a measurable quantity of apprehension (for the title has the word 'gigolo' in it - never a good sign), I find myself instantly warming to the jazzy big band music of Prima and his badass trumpet skills. You see, badass is a 50s word. A website told me. '(Nothing's Too Good) For My Baby' brings in vocalist, Keely Smith (Prima's wife and stage partner) for a duet that will please anyone that found some satisfaction in Tony Bennett's recent duets albums. Just try not to pay attention to the lyrics. "And just for you I'd hit you in the eye, and just for you I'd like to see you try, and just for you I'd learn to bake a pie." Domestic violence at its weirdest. Surprisingly, the majority of tracks on The Wildest! manage to put a smile on my face. Even 'The Lip' which I'm assuming was the 50s version of 'Boom Boom Pow.' It's annoying, but if it came on in 1956 at the box social on Friday night around 7pm, I'd be dancing to it. Next up is jazz standard 'Body and Soul.' You'll remember this one - it was the last track Amy Winehouse recorded, alongside the aforementioned legendary Bennett. You don't have to worry about comparing vocals as Prima's trumpet carries the melody in one pretty amazing solo. The second medley doesn't match the opening number, but not to worry, 'Jump, Jive, An' Wail' makes up for it with its crazy jazz piano solo and lyrics like, "Jack and Jill went up the hill to get a pail, Jack and Jill went up the hill to get a pail, Jill stayed up she wanted to learn to jive and wail." Outstanding. 




Unnecessary Spanish-orientated track 'Buona Sera' shows that just like today and the 90s, Latin flavoured tracks are best left to South Americans... not Americans from the South. Alright, it's not 'La Isla Bonita' bad and features another banging trumpet solo. '(I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You' is an automatic winner because of its title. And because Prima is so angry because someone tried to steal the man's meatballs. Not even joking. More songs should be about food.  So, my first encounter with The King of Swing and I don't really have anything bad to say at all. A sarcastic line here and there, but nothing truly negative. That may be strange, but congratulations are in order for the late Louis Prima. Give this one a LISTEN and swing the night away. Not the Sting and Trudi way, but if you're into that, good for you! 


It must be about time we started keeping a tally, yes? Four weeks in and we're at a tie...

LISTEN - 2
DIE - 2 


   

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