Kevin G. (kkg-ct) from NEW FAIRFIELD, CT Reviewed on 8/20/2015...
A great deal of fun. Very high energy that shows why Louie was one of the first Vegas head liners. Hour plus play time and all stand outs.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Al D. (Kcmissieblue) from TEWKSBURY, MA Reviewed on 9/21/2006...
The joy of life!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disk rocks, and is packed with great, upbeat music. It brims with humor and spirit. Even though it runs for well over an hour, I feel let down when it's over.Unlike many of the people who have posted here before me, I have no particular interest in the swing revival, and I did not come across Louis Prima via Brian Setzer. Brian Setzer is, however, as good a link to Louis Prima as any. Prima was a mysterious figure who played heavily in the otherwise fictional 50's period Italian food film "Big Night" (1996). Intrigued, I bought this disk after seeing "Big Night" in the theatre. True, the song "Beep Beep" is dated and corny, but it differs from the rest of the disk only in its space-age subject matter and "otherworldly" slide-guitar sound effects. It was topical during the late-50's space race. Everything else holds up perfectly well over 40-plus years.Prima's band is tight, yet spontaneous and not sterile. He has a great onstage comic rapport with cohort Sam Butera, and also with his then-wife and straight-woman Keely Smith.Example on "Won't You Please Come Home" --Keely: (singing) "Won't you come get your baby..."Louis: (stage whisper aside to audience) "Call from 'The Point'." This disk is a must for any non-classical music lover with a pulse. This is in my top 5 CD's, out of perhaps 300 I own, and is certainly a "desert island disk." Deservedly, almost everyone on this page has given it 5 stars. It doesn't get any better than this, kids."
AN ALBUM YOU WILL TREASURE FOREVER!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long before Brian Setzer did "Jump Jive N' Wail," and David Lee Roth did "Just A Gigolo," there was Louis Prima. He is one of the most underated and unappreciated American musicians of the 20th century! Just listen to Setzer's and Roth's (but don't waste your money buying their CD's) versions of those songs, and then listen to Prima's. Not only did Roth and Setzer literally rip off Prima (because they did little to embellish on what Prima had already done), but Prima was making this music 40 years before them! However, this is a testament to Prima's immense talent because his music is as hip today as it was 40 years ago when he was one of the greatest shows in Vegas. Prima was also a gifted songwriter and trumpet player. His voice is unique and no one else has a style like him. The music on this CD covers Prima in his prime and the sound qaulity is excellent. There is a remarkable timelessness to this album because the recordings sound so spontaneous. This album will kick any party into high-gear and will always put a smile on your face. If you really want the real Mcoy when it comes to swing, then Prima's music can't be beat. Prima was a pioneer in swing/jazz who's time has come. He deserves more than just Gap commercials and soundtracks to movies. His place in American music needs to be redefined as one of the greats whose genius was just as immense as Sir Duke's and Dizzy's. Get this album and you'll see what I'm talking about and then tell your friends where the real Swing comes from."
Smallchief | 10/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Louis Prima and his rollicking crew of wife, Keely Smith, Saxaphonist Sam Butera and the Witnesses were the number one act in Vegas in the late 1950s. This is high energy, humorous music in a style of...well...Dixieland jazz with an Italian accent? Some of the songs start out slow and tender, but they don't stay that way. Prima's gravel voice and trumpet and Butera's saxophone quickly convert all tunes into hard-driving swing. Cherokee-Irish Keely Smith has a sweet simple voice and her duets with Louis on songs like "That Ol' Black Magic" are outstanding. This is music that's gotta make you a little happier than you are. Missing on this CD, however, is one of Louis's best numbers: the show-stopper from Disney's animated movie, "The Jungle Book." And Keely's solo "The Sunny Side of the Street"-- in my humble opinion, the best ever rendition of this song -- isn't here either. Too bad, but nothing is ever perfect."
Swinging with Louis Prima
Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 05/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The songs contained on this CD are a sort of Greatest Hits The Capital Years. Louis Prima & The Witnesses, which included Sam Butera, a giant in his own right, was one of the "swingest" bands of the 50's. Although the music contained is from a different time period it has qualities that are timeless. Louis Prima, who was of Italian desent, produced many fine albums during his illustious caareer and this CD contains most of his classics for which he is remembered. With the exception of one or two songs("Beep, Beep", "Twist All Night")) all of these tunes are has cool as it ever was. Besides being uptempo these "cats" could play with a sense of humor. "Next Time" is one of those songs that cuts across all generations as it tells a tale of not getting another chance,"you'll go to jail right now". The call and responce that Sam Butera and Prima demonstrate is hilarious, you know that they were having a good time. You will be too after listening to them. The good times were being shared by all as Prima and then wife Keely Smith get into some bantering themselves on a couple of tracks. I recall my father playing this music always when I was a kid and I find it still enjoyable now. Funny thing is my kids also enjoy it and they are more inclined to alt music, specifically underground punk,ska and rap. This proves the timeless quality of the music. More than likely you've heard some of the offerings("Just a Gigolo""Jump, Jive and Wail") via movies or other artists but these guys are the originals.One of the interesting aspects of this CD is it captures some of the spontanaity and fun this group was having. They were on the fast track, doing the Las Vegas show circuit, having a blast. Sam Butera, the soul of the Witnesses, is still around and performs at various small venues. I saw him at an Indian gambling casino, good stuff. It is worth going to see him as he is a legend. He performs all the classic tracks, a Louis Prima Revival if you will, he still is going strong for an old dude. Keely Smith is also around and has tried to revive her career with a CD, don't know if it is good as I've yet to hear it. If you like this handy collection, (how can you not?)you should explore the original recordings that were made in their hey day. Most anything with the word "Wild" is great. "The Wildest", "Call of the Wildest" are all excellent CD.s. I'm lucky enough to have the vinyl editions but CD's are available that capture the magic of those LV shows. Treat yourself to something old with a flavor that is forever young."
Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Sam Butera and The Witnesses--a ma
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 11/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Louis Prima remains infamous for his over the top performances on the Vegas strip during the 1950s and 1960s. Keely Smith, Sam Butera and The Witnesses accompany Louis on this CD to make this a great collection of Louis' hit songs from the 1950s and early 1960s when Louis was in his prime.
The CD starts with the medley of "Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody." This song pokes fun at the guy who sells romance and wonders why he can't find true love. Like most of the tunes on this CD, the melody is catchy, even infectious, and Louis gives heart and soul to the performance. Other playful songs on this album include "Jump, Jive An' Wail;" "Banana Split For My Baby;" "There'll Be No Next Time" with Sam Butera; "Beep! Beep!" which was inspired by the launch of the Russian satellite named Sputnik and "The Music Goes 'Round And 'Round." There's another perk, too: This is the first time Louis' version of "The Music Goes 'Round And 'Round" was released on CD. Excellent!
Louis' voice is rich, vibrant and overflowing with strength; he truly is a manic swirl of energy! Moreover, Louis is ably supported by a lot of great talent. Louis' wife Keely Smith accompanies him on several tracks on this CD. I agree with reviewers who comment that Keely balances out Louis' over the top, almost excessive energy. Keely sings "That Old Black Magic" with Louis; and she also accompanies him on "The Lip;" "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home;" the medley of "Embraceable You/I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good;" "Hey Boy! Hey Girl!" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."
Louis also puts his own stamp on other classic ballads including "Buona Sera;" "I've Got The World On A String;" "Pennies From Heaven" and the medley of "When You're Smiling/The Sheik Of Araby."
Scott Shea contributes great liner notes about Louis' career and personal life; and there are wonderful color pictures of Louis and his Capitol Records albums as well. You get the song credits along with the recording and release dates for all the songs on the CD. In addition, the sound quality is excellent; Bob Norberg scores a coup again with his digital re-mastering of these songs at Capitol Recording Studios.
Overall, this is THE album to start with if you want to get acquainted with Louis Prima, Keely Smith and their peers. If you like this CD, I suggest you try the CD entitled Louis and Keely as well as the CD that offers two of Louis' record albums on one CD, Call of the Wildest/Wildest Show at Tahoe. Get this CD! I hope that you have as much fun as I did as you listen to it over and over again! SMILE "