Trumpeter and vocalist Louis Prima made plenty of records in his day – on Capitol, Dot, even his own Prima One label. But these Capitol recordings show the bandleader at the height of his artistry; it’s a trip well worth the steep price for Prima completists. Eight CDs document the classic “jump, jive, and wail” that made Prima a lounge icon. One CD is devoted exclusively to his live work. Keely Smith (Prima’s best-known singing companion/wife) and Sam Butera (Prima’s long-time arranger/saxophonist) are both represented here, with two CDs each. The liner notes, as with all Bear Family box sets, are intelligent, profuse, and well-researched. The collection is really more Prima than you probably ever wanted, but for parties, it can’t be beat.
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