The Dave Pell Octet was one of the most successful West Coast modern jazz combos in the 50s, playing a stimulating and swinging repertoire ideal for the groups aims. Dave Pell favoured variations on the melody rather than the harmonic emphasis heard in the work of his contemporaries. The deftly crafted arrangements, by Marty Paich, Shorty Rogers, Johnny Mandel, Wes Hensel, Bill Holman, Jack Montrose, André Previn, and Jimmy Giuffre, established the groups sound and personality, and offered shrewdly placed spots for its stellar soloists.
They were a hit everywhere, with concerts and teenage dances notable showcases for the unit. With three of its key personnel, Pell, Don Fagerquist and Ray Sims, honed by years as star soloists of Les Browns band, the Octets cohesion was remarkable. These originally Atlantic and Capitol sessions also featured the wonderfully swinging sound of Bob Gordons baritone sax. Elected New Star of the Year in the 1955 Down Beat critics poll, he was killed in an automobile accident two months after these recordings were made. His work here remains a brilliant display of his great talent.
01. How Are Things In Glocca Morra? (Harburg-Lane) 5:57
02. Memphis In June (Carmichael-Webster) 4:06
03. Deep In The Heart Of Texas (Hershey-Swander) 2:54
04. New Orleans (Hoagy Carmichael) 4:25
05. The White Cliffs Of Dover (Burton-Kent) 2:57
06. Sunday In Savannah (Hugh Mackay) 3:54
07. Isle Of Capri (Gross-Kennedy) 2:46
08. Shuffle Off To Buffalo (Warren-Dubin) 2:54
09. Paris In The Spring (Gordon-Revel) 3:38
10. On A Slow Boat To China (Frank Loesser) 3:20
11. London In July (Duke-Cahn) 3:26
12. Flying Down To Rio (Eliscu-Kahn) 2:33
13. I Had The Craziest Dream (Warren-Gordon) 2:50
14. Jazz Wagner (Shorty Rogers) 3:25
15. Mike’s Peak (Shorty Rogers) 2:25
16. Poopsie (Dave Pell) 2:37
01. Star Eyes (Raye-DePaul) 2:55
02. Klump Jump (Marty Paich) 2:44
03. My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Cole Porter) 2:41
04. On The Good Ship Lollipop (Clare-Whiting) 2:06
05. Can’t We Be Friends (James-Swift) 2:30
06. I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling (Link-Waller-Rose) 3:34
07. Love Is The Sweetest Thing (Ray Noble) 3:31
08. I’ve Got A Crush On You (G. & I.Gershwin) 2:15
09. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight (Creamer-Johnson) 3:31
10. Let’s Do It (Cole Porter) 3:05
11. Just One More Chance (Johnston-Coslow) 3:10
12. Who Walks In When I Walk Out (Goodhart-Hoffman-Freed) 4:19
13. You Can’t Pull The Wool Over My Eyes (Ager-Newman-Mencher) 3:12
14. Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered (Rodgers-Hart) 4:55
15. Solitude (Ellington-Mills) 4:31
16. I’ve Found A New Baby (Palmer-Williams) 3:20
Sources CD 1:
Tracks #1-12, from the album “Jazz and Romantic Places” (Atlantic LP 1216)
Tracks #13-14, from the album “I Had The Craziest Dream” (Capitol T-925)
Tracks #15-46, from the album “Les Brown All-Stars” (Capitol T-659) *
Sources CD 2:
Tracks #1,3 & 4, from the album “I Had The Craziest Dream” (Capitol T-925)
Track #2, from the album “Les Brown All-Stars” (Capitol T-659) *
Tracks #5-16, from the album “Love Story” (Atlantic LP 1249)
The remaining tracks on “Les Brown All-Stars,” T-659 were recorded two years later, and what is left out of T-659 consisted of tunes performed by several other groups.
The Dave Pell Octet, personnel on CD 1
Tracks #1-12: Don Fagerquist, trumpet; Ray Sims, trombone; Dave Pell, tenor sax; Bob Gordon, baritone sax; Donn Trenner, piano; Tony Rizzi, guitar; Buddy Clark, bass; Bill Richmond, drums. Arrangements by Marty Paich (1,2), Jack Montrose (3,4), Johnny Mandel (5), Wes Hensel (6,7), Shorty Rogers (8,9,10,11,12).
Hollywood on April 21, 23 & 26, 1955
Tracks #13-16: Don Fagerquist, trumpet; Ray Sims, trombone; Dave Pell, tenor sax; Bob Gordon, baritone sax; Paul Smith, piano; Tony Rizzi, guitar; Rolly Bundock, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. Arrangements by André Previn (13), Shorty Rogers (14,15,16).
Hollywood on June 15, 1955
The Dave Pell Octet, personnel on CD 2
Tracks #1-4: Don Fagerquist, trumpet; Ray Sims, trombone; Dave Pell, tenor sax; Bob Gordon, baritone sax; Paul Smith, piano; Tony Rizzi, guitar; Rolly Bundock, bass; Jack Sperling, drums; Roy Harte, bongos (3-4). Arrangements by Jack Montrose (1), Marty Paich (2,3), Wes Hensel (4).
Hollywood on June 17, 1955
Tracks #5-8: Don Fagerquist, trumpet; Ray Sims, trombone; Dave Pell, tenor sax, bass clarinet (10) & English horn (15); Marty Berman, baritone sax; André Previn, piano; Tony Rizzi, guitar; Mel Pollan, bass; Irv Kluger, drums. Arrangements by Marty Paich (5,6,11,13), Bill Holman (7), Jim Emerson (8), Jack Montrose (9,12), Wes Hensel (10), André Previn (14), Jimmy Giuffre (15), Johnny Mandel (16).
Hollywood on February 13, 1956
Tracks #9-12: Claude Williamson, piano, replaces André Previn.
Hollywood, February 20, 1956
Tracks #13-16: André Previn, piano, replaces Claude Williamson.
Hollywood, February 21, 1956
All tracks recorded at Capitol Studios 5155 Melrose Ave. Hollywood, California.
#1-12 on CD-1: Musical Director: Shorty Rogers.
Supervision: Nesuhi Ertegun.
Recording Engineer: John Palladino.
#13-16 on CD-1 and 1-4 of CD-2: Produced by Bill Miller.
Recording Engineer: John Palladino.
#5-16 of CD-2: Supervision: Nesuhi Ertegun.
Recording Engineer: John Kraus.
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
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