Thursday, September 9, 2010

Luis Prima-Buona Sera

Only eight lines long, Luis Prima's "Buona Sera" manages to both tell a story, exude raw emotion, and capture the sound of an era perfectly. Telling the quick story of a man proposing to his lady in Naples, Luis Prima injects so much energy and life into the song and lyrics that its hard not to want to pull your signorina close to ya and cut a rug to this jam. If only a simple story about love, this song wouldn't make it what it is. But throw in a mean trumpet solo, the best backup singers this side of the I Threes, and an infectious joie de vivre, and you got yourself a jamandahalf.

I only knew "Buona Sera" as a standalone jam, but reading into Prima's history, you really get a sense of who the man behind the jam is. Prima, a Sicilian-American, was a presence in the music scene for five decades and adapted to rapidly changing musical styles. Impossible to think of today, Prima had a jazz band in the 1920s, a swing outfit in the 30s, a big band in the 40s, a Vegas show in the 50s, and a pop band in the 60s. All the while, Prima infused whatever he did with a gregariousness that is easily apparent on the track. Prima also dabbled with movies, making appearances in Hollywood flicks with Bing Crosby, and women (Prima had five wives). If you think you've heard Prima's voice before, it's because you probably have: he was the voice of King Louie in the Jungle Book, a classic flick if there ever was one. A man who seemingly lived a life of relentless energy, Prima made a bonafide classic with this track.

  Louis Prima - Buona Sera by jamandahalf

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