Last Friday I was channel surfing and happened to notice “Jump, Jive & Wail” playing in the background on teeny sitcom “It Takes Two.” If that doesn’t prove how ubiquitous Louis Prima was this year, then nothing does. I barely know a single person who didn’t pick up a copy of the Capitol Collectors Series disc this year—you know the one, yellow cover with a jolly, surprised-looking cover shot of the King of Lasagna Jazz.
Breaking It Up! compiles Prima’s 1951-1953 recordings for Columbia in the period right before he became the Las Vegas lounge superstar of the mid-‘50s. Prima’s salacious wit is in fine form on “Oooh-Dahdily-Dah” and he heaps on the Italian kitsch on “Basta,” and “Luigi.” It’s obvious that as early as 1951, Prima was already perfecting the riveting combination of humor, Dixieland, and R&B that would mark Prima a swing king and help kick-start today’s retro swing scene.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article