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Disc review: Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses, “Blow”

Lounge R&B

Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses




Nobody ever said that the “Juniors” ever had it easy in American show business. If, for instance, you were Will Rogers Jr. or Frank Sinatra Jr. or Louis Prima Jr., you would almost think that your professional fate was mapped out for you at birth. And it probably didn’t include being a dentist or an accountant.

The voice of Louis Prima Jr. is nothing like the high, witty, hoarse wail that the old man brought to some of the greatest and most influential lounge jump tunes of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s – the house style of the best blue-collar Vegas lounges and all those lounges around the country in Vegas style.

He’s not exactly the trumpet player the old man was either. And, though the band is called The Witnesses, daddy’s main man on tenor saxophone Sam Butera went to witness that great celestial lounge in the sky in 2009. That leaves the Prima musical estate in Junior’s care and he does the best he can with the shuffle-beat Vegas lounge jump genre (more or less) in a voice that sounds more like Huey Lewis (with, alas, no news to deliver).

But he does an overdub duet with daddy on “That’s My Home” and he’s got some of his spirit. The music isn’t much here but you’ve got to admire his dedication to the family business.

– Jeff Simon