Pete Fountain

Inspired playing by the New Orleans clarinetist

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Pete Fountain (1930-2016) was one of the most famous of all New Orleans jazz musicians.

A consistently exciting clarinetist who was influenced by Benny Goodman and Irving Fazola, Fountain worked early on with the Basin Street Six, the Dukes of Dixieland, and Al Hirt before becoming a featured soloist on the Lawrence Welk Show during 1957-59 which made him nationally famous.

Fountain was at his best on his series of albums for the Coral label during the first half of the 1960s and remained active playing New Orleans jazz and swing songs until his retirement in 2010.

Here he is in the early 2000s playing an extended version of “Shine,” a performance on which he takes two particularly inspired solos that build and build.

-Scott Yanow


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