Reference: FSRCD 936_2
The success of the Dave Pell Octet was one of the fairy-tale stories of the West Coast jazz of the Fifties. Founded by Pell in 1953, this small jazz group, drawn from the nucleus of Les Brown’s orchestra, was among the most popular jazz outfits in Southern California within months. The Octet’s first library had the stimulating and ingeniously voiced arrangements of Shorty Rogers and Wes Hensel, which gave this group the feel of a big band. “We used the guitar as a voice in unison with trumpet,” Pell explained, “and so the Octet sound had a successful formula which allowed us to play a tempo that was danceable and yet still had a jazz feel.”
Bill Brown, Daily News jazz columnist wrote: “Pell and his group have flipped fans everywhere they’ve appeared. It’s a skilled and interesting group and one you should hear.” The Octet’s cohesion was remarkable, and additional scores by such talented arrangers as Marty Paich, Johnny Mandel, and Bill Holman, helped establish its sound and personality.
This 2 CD-set covers all of the Octet’s recordings for the labels Trend (1953-1954) and Kapp (1956), which epitomize its smooth sophistication; with their tightly scored ensembles, the deft styling concealed some excellent musicianship, and they all contain highly individualistic contributions by its stellar soloists, Don Fagerquist, Ray Sims, Ronny Lang, and the airy, swinging tenor of Dave Pell, who said, simply: “We play jazz for dancing. That’s our forte.”
01. I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket 3:33
02. Change Partners 2:37
03. Love and the Weather 3:16
04. Russian Lullaby 2:52
05. Kate 3:04
06. Say It with Music 2:12
07. I Used to Be Color Blind 3:06
08. Let’s Have Another Cup of Coffee 3:07
09. Better Luck Next Time 3:20
10. They Say It’s Wonderful 3:16
11. This Year’s Kisses 3:10
12. He Ain’t Got Rhythm 3:00
13. Why Do You Suppose? 2:55
14. Have You Met Miss Jones? 2:52
15. You Are Too Beautiful 3:49
16. Mountain Greenery 2:49
17. A Ship Without a Sail 3:06
18. The Blue Room 2:38
19. I’ve Got Five Dollars 2:48
20. Sing for Your Supper 2:33
21. It Never Entered My Mind 3:50
22. The Lady Is a Tramp 4:02
23. Spring Is Here 3:03
24. Ten Cents a Dance 2:28
01. But Beautiful 2:15
02. My Heart Is a Hobo 2:35
03. Like Someone In Love 3:29
04. Swinging on a Star 2:32
05. Suddenly It’s Spring 3:34
06. It’s Always You 2:27
07. What Does It Take 3:27
08. Aren’t You Glad You’re You 2:08
09. All This and Heaven Too 4:28
10. It Could Happen to You 2:16
11. Just My Luck 3:09
12. Imagination 2:39
13. When Is Sometime 2:29
14. Darn that Dream 2:45
15. Humpty Dumpty Heart 3:10
16. Polka Dots and Moonbeams 2:26
Sources CD 1:
Tracks #3-6 & 8-11, from the 10" album
"The Dave Pell Octet Plays Irving Berlin" (Trend TL-1003)
Tracks #1, 2, 7 & 12, from the 12" album
"The Dave Pell Octet Plays Irving Berlin" (Kapp KL-1036)
Tracks #13-24, from the 12" album "The Dave Pell Octet Plays Rodgers & Hart"
(Trend TL-1501, reissued as Kapp KL-1025)
Sources CD 2:
Tracks #1,4,6,8,10,12,14 & 16, from the 10" album
"Dave pell Octet · Lucy Ann Polk" (Trend TL-1008)
Tracks #2,3,5,7,9,11,13 & 15, from the 12" album
"The Dave Pell Octet Plays Burke & Van Heusen" (Kapp KL-1034)
Personnel on CD 1 #1-12:
Don Fagerquist, trumpet; Ray Sims, trombone, vocals (#10); Ronny Lang, baritone & alto (#6 & 11) sax, flute (#4); Dave Pell, tenor sax & English horn (#4); Jeff Clarkson, piano; Tony Rizzi, guitar; Rolly Bundock, bass; Jack Sperling, drums.
Arrangements: Shorty Rogers (#1,3,6,7,8,9 & 12), Jerry Fielding (#2), and Wes Hensel (#4,5,10 & 11).
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, April 22 & May 28, 1953
Personnel on CD 1 #13-24:
Don Fagerquist, trumpet; Ray Sims, trombone; Ronny Lang, baritone sax, flute (#21); Dave Pell, tenor sax & bass clarinet (#23); Donn Trenner, piano, celeste (#15); Tony Rizzi, guitar; Rolly Bundock, bass; Bill Richmond, drums.
Arrangements: Marty Paich (#13,14,16 & 21), Wes Hensel (#15,22 & 23), Shorty Rogers (#17,18,19 & 24), and Johnny Mandel (#20).
Recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, June 11, 21 & 24, 1954
Personnel on CD 2 #1-16:
Don Fagerquist, trumpet; Ray Sims, trombone; Ronny Lang, baritone sax, flute (#6,14 & 16); Dave Pell, tenor sax & English horn (#6,14 & 16); Claude Williamson, piano & celeste (#14 & 16); Tony Rizzi, guitar; Rolly Bundock, bass; Jack Sperling, drums; Lucy Ann Polk, vocals (#1,4,6,8,10,12,14 & 16).
Arrangements: Shorty Rogers (#1,4,5,7,10 & 12), Wes Hensel (#6,8,14 & 16), Bill Holman (#2), Bob Enevoldsen (#3), Jack Montrose (#9), Med Flory (#11), Jim Emerson (#13), and Buddy Bregman (#15).
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, December 18, 21 & 28, 1953
Original recordings produced by Albert Marx
Sound engineers: Val Valentine (Radio Recorders) & John Kraus (Capitol Studio)
New liner notes by Jordi Pujol
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Photos by Dave Pell © Fresh Sound Records
Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
This CD release is dedicated to the memory of Dave Pell (1925-2017)
-The Dave Pell Octet Plays Irving Berlin
"The Dave Pell Octet was one of the definitive cool jazz groups of the 1950s. Tenor saxophonist Pell played with Les Brown's big band during 1948-56 and started to record with an octet drawn from the orchestra in 1953. His first project was a set of a dozen Irving Berlin tunes, and the results are quite memorable. The swinging and subtle ensembles, concise and emotionally restrained solos, and excellent musicianship would be trademarks of the band. Consisting of Pell; trumpeter Don Fagerquist; trombonist Ray Sims; Ronny Lang on baritone, alto, and flute; pianist Jeff Clarkson; guitarist Tony Rizzi; bassist Rolly Bundock; and drummer Jack Sperling, the octet plays arrangements by Shorty Rogers, Jerry Fielding, and Wes Hensel. Among the highlights are "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket," "Russian Lullaby," "They Say It's Wonderful," and "This Year's Kisses." Recommended."
-The Dave Pell Octet Plays Rodgers & Hart
"The Spanish Fresh Sound label has reissued the earliest recordings by the Dave Pell Octet, one of the top cool jazz bands of the 1950s. The Rodgers & Hart set was one of the group's most famous recordings, with classic renditions of "Mountain Greenery," "The Blue Room," "Spring Is Here," and "Ten Cents a Dance" being among the highpoints. The arrangements (by Marty Paich, Wes Hensel, Shorty Rogers, and Johnny Mandel) practically define the idiom, as do the cool-toned solos. A gem."
-The Dave Pell Octet Plays Burke and Van Heusen
"The Dave Pell Octet was one of the great West Coast jazz-style cool combos of the 1950s. This CD reissues the band's two Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen albums. Lucy Ann Polk sings eight of the 16 selections, and she is a major asset, displaying a relaxed, straightforward, basic, and winning approach, warmly uplifting each song. The arrangements are by Shorty Rogers, Wes Hensel, Bill Holman, Bob Enevoldsen, Jack Montrose, Med Flory, Jim Emerson, and Buddy Bregman. The octet (comprised of trumpeter Don Fagerquist; trombonist Ray Sims; Ronny Lang on baritone, alto and flute; tenor saxophonist Dave Pell; pianist Claude Williamson; guitarist Tony Rizzi; bassist Rolly Bundock, and drummer Jack Sperling) sounds at its best on "But Beautiful," "Suddenly It's Spring," "It's Always You," "Aren't You Glad You're You," "It Could Happen to You," and "Imagination." Timeless music."
All by Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
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