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|He may have been "just a gigolo," but it's easy to understand why Louis Prima continues to find audiences both young and old. The trumpeter and bandleader was at the forefront of the rock & roll movement, he was the epitome of the cool, singing and swinging Italian crooner ("Oh Marie"), and he achieved immortality as King Louie in Disney's Jungle Book. But the entertainer also went through five wives, struggled to keep up with new musical trends, and, ultimately, will be remembered as one of the world's great lounge acts. |
Louis Prima: The Wildest chronicles his rise to fame from his early years in the French Quarter of New Orleans to his glory days in Sin City. Interviews with jazz critics, former wife Keely Smith, and numerous bandmates abound in this well-made documentary. But the real highlight for Prima fans will be the live music footage, showcasing Smith and Prima singing in their prime, his crackerjack band that knew how to swing, twist, and (yes) rock when it mattered, and Prima's incredible stage presence. The fascinating footage is abundant here- -from "Chinatown" to "Sing, Sing, Sing" to an awe-inspiring performance of "I'm in the Mood for Love." No one can ever sum up what makes Prima so magical, but the music speaks for itself. Added DVD features include some uncut concert performances and a few audio-only bonus tracks. --Jason Verlinde
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