Review: The Jive Aces – King Of The Swingers: A Salute To Louis Prima

Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013

Jive Aces CD Cover

The Jive Aces – King Of The Swingers: A Salute to Louis Prima


A plural version of the title of the album would be an appropriate description of this highly talented ensemble, for they are widely hailed as the kings of the swingers in the UK. The band comprises Ian Clarkson on vocals, Vince Hurley on keyboards, John Fordham on saxophone, Alex Douglas on trombone, Ken Smith on bass and Peter Howell on drums. In addition, on this album, the sextet welcomes a host of guests on board.

The album contains sixteen tracks, the last of which is a single version of “Bring Me Sunshine”, which also appears earlier. That number is one that features one of the aforementioned guests, the beautifully dulcet-toned Toni Elizabeth Prima, the daughter of Louis Prima and Keely Smith, who also guests on “That Old Black Magic”, “King Of Jive” and “I’ll Be Seeing You”.

The lively opening track, “Oh, Babe”, features saxophonist Marco Palos before “Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby”, is graced by Rebecca Grant on vocals, who returns later on “Hey Boy! Hey Girl”. The guest on “I Wanna Be Like You” is another sax player, Ray Gelato, while “Sing, Sing, Sing” is embellished by the vocal elegance of The Flirtinis. There is also a marvellous guest appearance by the late, legendary Kenny Ball on trumpet and vocals on a terrific rendition of “Sheik Of Araby”, with Hossam Ramzy on percussion – arguably the best track on the album.

While the several guest artistes add significantly to the album, the performance of The Jive Aces is consistently impressive and they strut their stuff unaccompanied on five tracks: “Just A Gigolo”/”I Ain’t Got Nobody”, “”Angelina Zooma Zooma”, “Over The Rainbow”, a cracking version of “Basin Street Blues” and “Oh Marie”. It is a most enjoyable compilation, which epitomises the feelgood factor that the band exudes in abundance in its live performances.


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