January 30, 2005

Carinval Day 1949 and 1950

King of Zulu, Louis Armstrong, Mardi Gras 1949


"Carnival Day" (Bartholomew)
Dave Bartholomew, Imperial, 1950

Here’s an early r&b tribute to Fat Tuesday as sung by producer, bandleader, and songwriter Dave Bartholomew. You can hear him call out to the Big Chief and use several Mardi Gras Indian phrases at the start. Legendary drummer Earl Palmer sticks to his tom-toms to roll out the syncopated underpinnings for the rest of the band: Herb Hardesty, tenor sax (probably solo); Clarence Hall, tenor sax; Joe Harris, alto sax; Frank Fields, bass; Ernest McLean, guitar; and Salvador Doucette, piano. Bartholomew was just starting to produce and develop his discovery, Fats Domino, around this time. With a stable of great session players, they would make popular records together for over a decade, with tens of millions in sales. Dave didn’t do a lot of recording as featured artist; and this is one of his best, with a real hometown vibe.

You can find this cut on several CD compilations, including Mardi Gras Essentials, Carnival Day, and Dave Bartholomew 1947-50.


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