TOMMY LAKES ORCHESTRA, King Porter StompPosted: August 30, 2012
These four tracks first appeared on the Tommy Lakes presents When Swing Was King LP on the Promenade label out of Newark, New Jersey before they were licensed to the Opera label out of Stuttgart in 1957. One budget label licensing to another budget label was common practice in those days, when the main objective was to sell records cheaper than the bigger labels. So probably that´s why Opera bought some swing standards by an unknown American band to add to their jazz catalog. Interestingly they also published Duke Ellingtons Overture To Jam Session, originally issued on the Musicraft label in 1946, as Opera #4409.
Now that I´ve mentioned budget and cheap so many times, I´ve probably sealed Tommy Lakes fate forever, but while he ain´t no Count Basie, this is some nice big band swing. These tracks have never been re-released in any format in more than fifty years and will likely never be, but King Porter Stomp does have some cool moments when the drums race the dueling clarinet and brass section towards the end of the song. That´s certainly still worth a couple of swing-outs:
TOMMY LAKES ORCHESTRA, King Porter Stomp
TOMMY LAKES ORCHESTRA, One O´Clock Jump
TOMMY LAKES ORCHESTRA, Hawaiian War Chant
TOMMY LAKES ORCHESTRA, Tiger Rag