The Puzzle of Pete Fountain

Gone at 86 — little embarrassing to admit I had no idea he was still around. It was glib of me to dismiss him when I knew almost nothing about jazz because he appeared on Lawrence Welk and therefore had to be harmless and MOR at best. But a further trouble is that clarinet does not appeal to me very often (Bechet is the only utter fave) and went out of fashion in general. And most of what I heard later from Fountain suggested jazz for people who didn’t like jazz (he doesn’t even appear in The Penguin Guide). But still quite sad that his last years were so troubled. Did not deserve that.

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