Their dry-cleaning bill must be staggering.
Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses are impervious to summer. For the second year in a row, they charged onstage Saturday at the Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival in heavy suits and proceeded to blow away the audience with the force of a tornado times 10.
The August heat was no match for them.
“That’s what they make water and Gatorade for,” said Prima, who described Morristown’s weather as mild compared to outdoor gigs they’ve played in New Orleans.
“Once you start sweating, you just don’t care anymore,” said sax player Marco Palos, soaking, after nearly two hours playing in the bright sun.
Slideshow photos by Jeff Sovelove and Kevin Coughlin:
Will Pattinson, baritone saxophonist, explained: “We just don’t know that we can’t. And we do it! We’re all doing what we love. It’s hard not to have a good time when you do what you love.”
Or, as trombonist Phil Clevinger put it, quoting Prima’s famous father, the late bandleader Louis Prima: “It’s a pleasure to kill ourselves!”
That almost happened awhile back, during a show in swampy New Orleans. Palos said two of the Witnesses, including himself, were stricken with food poisoning during the same razzle-dazzle medley shown in our video clip.
“In the middle of Sing Sing Sing, one person disappears during the drum solo. Then I disappear, twice. Everything was coming up.”
But the show must go on.
“You learn to pace yourself. It’s a marathon,” Palos said.
Oh, and for him, at least, the dry cleaning is no problem. His other regular gig takes care of that.
“I get it done at Disney!” Palos said.