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Andy Sherwood: Blog

These were the next two albums that came into my possession on my journey of discovering Pete Fountain. I was in 10th grade by now and still taking lessons and listening to Pete. A trombone player in the high school band decided to put together a band and asked me if I was interested in playing, and I said that I was. So, one weekend he had a drummer, trumpet player, tuba player, and me come over to his house. His dad joined us on piano and we played out of the old "Combo-Orks" books. I didn't know anything about improvising at the time and pretty much just stuck to the written notes. At one point I decided to hit some high notes over the ensemble and magic happened. I loved hearing those notes soar above everyone else. Later on we rehearsed at the drummer's house, and his mom was really into it. We would sit around talking about our great plans for the future of the band, and his mom would be as enthusiastic as we were. She worked in a library and one time gave me two very used Pete Fountain [...]
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These were the titles of the next two Pete Fountain albums that my parents bought for me. These albums had the clarinet out in front the whole time with a beautiful big sound. I couldn't listen to them enough! My dad would put those two records on one of those phonographs with a record changer, and I would listen to both sides. It must have kept my dad busy making sure that the music didn't stop for long when he had to flip them. I think those records became worn through, but I still have them today. Eventually after many years, I found every Pete Fountain record and CD ever recorded. 

My First Pete Fountain Record

Posted on March 11, 2012
I began playing the clarinet at the age of 10. My mother chose the clarinet for me because my older sister played violin, and my mother thought that the clarinet was an easier instrument. (After playing for 45 years now, I know that the clarinet is not easy.) One day my mother took me to a music store to pick out a clarinet. I was thrilled to look at it and touch the keys. Soon, I began taking private lessons. I really didn't know what I was doing, but I diligently worked at the exercises. At times my mother would tell me about this great jazz clarinetist, Pete Fountain. I didn't think much about it. About 6 months after I began taking lessons my mother bought me a Pete Fountain record. The record had a Dixieland band on it, and occasionally the clarinet would take a solo. I didn't understand it at first, but soon I was picking up the needle on the phonograph and moving it to the clarinet solo parts. It got to the point where I new exactly where to place to needle to hear the clarinet. [...]
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