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Dave Pell


Dave Pell started the octet after playing with most of the bands in the big band era, including Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and the like, he was a featured star of the Les Brown Band of Renown for 13 years. Shorty Rogers and Marty Paich were the first arrangers that came up with the unique sound of the band that was basically the four soloists from the Les Brown Band and the rhythm section. The Dave Pell Octet was one of the bands credited with the creation of the West Coast Jazz scene in the 1950’s. The band became an instant success and was a showcase for the great new West Coast arrangers, including John Williams, Bill Holman, Bob Florence, Johnny Mandel, Andre Previn, Med Flory and many more

News: Recording

Backgrounder: Dave Pell Octet 'Plays Rodgers & Hart'

Backgrounder: Dave Pell Octet 'Plays Rodgers & Hart'

I received so much email yesterday about the octet format that I figured I'd end the week with a Backgrounder by the Dave Pell Octet. The octet's arrangements in the 1950s were designed to give the eight musicians a West Coast big band sound—a miniaturized Les Brown Orchestra if you will. Prior to Dave Pell, there ...

News: Recording

Florian Ross Octet: Tunes & Explorations

Florian Ross Octet: Tunes & Explorations

I love jazz octets. More than any other ensemble configuration, an octet shows off an arranger's stuff. Unlike a big band, an octet is fully exposed, with individual instruments coming and going rather than full sections broken into chords. In many ways, octets are little big bands—the skeletal version. As a listener, you get to hear ...


Article: Album Review

A & M Octet: New Roots

Read "New Roots" reviewed by Jack Bowers

At its best, the Toronto-based A&M (Adema & Manoukas) Octet brings to mind similar ensembles from the heyday of West Coast Jazz, superlative eight-member groups led by the likes of Dave Pell and Lennie Niehaus, among others; luckily for listerners, A&M is at its best most of the way on its debut recording, New Roots, performing ...


Article: Interview

Bill Goodwin: Not Less Than Everything

Read "Bill Goodwin: Not Less Than Everything" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Bill Goodwin is like a breath of fresh air blowing through jazz. From the time around 1954 when he was in jny: Los Angeles and just learning the drums, and inspired by Shelly Manne, to today, around his 80th birthday, he has loved jazz and the musicians unconditionally. He has befriended and worked with so many ...


Article: Album Review

Jazzlab Orchestra: Loguslabusmuzikus

Read "Loguslabusmuzikus" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Jazzlab Orchestra, formed in 2004 and based in Montreal, Canada, lies somewhere short of orchestra-size. It's actually an octet—but don't let that deter you; the unison passages are generally robust and pleasing. Jazzlab does play jazz of a sort, music that may best be described as contemporary cerebral. In other words, this is not akin ...


Article: Interview

A Young Person's Guide to the Jazz Bastard Podcast

Read "A Young Person's Guide to the Jazz Bastard Podcast" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Dr. Michael Caldwell, a lecturer in humanities at San Diego State University, and Dr. Patrick Burnette, a lawyer's helper in central Indiana, or, as they are known on their podcast, “Mike and Pat," have been discussing jazz in public since December 5, 2012, when episode one of the Jazz Bastard Podcast went live. Since ...


Article: Live Review

Bray Jazz Festival 2019

Read "Bray Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Bray Jazz Festival Various venues Bray, Ireland May 3-5, 2019 The May Bank Holiday weekend is always a festive occasion in Bray, but this year was of particular note as the Bray Jazz Festival celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Founded by Dorothy and George Jacob in response to a ...

News: Obituary

Remembering Dave Pell’s Devotion To His Hero

Remembering Dave Pell’s Devotion To His Hero

Saxophonist and bandleader Dave Pell, a prominent figure in the west coast jazz of the 1950s and ’60s, died on May 8. He was 92. Pell recorded extensively with his octet and the tribute group Prez Conference. Over the years the collective members of those bands included Art Pepper, Red Mitchell, Harry Edison, Mel Lewis, Benny ...


Dave Pell: Four Classic Albums

Label: Avid Records UK
Released: 2013
Track listing: CD1: How Are Things in Glocca Morra?; On A Slow Boat to China; Memphis in June; Paris in Spring; London in July; Isle Of Capri; The White Cliffs of Dover; Sunday in Savannah; Deep in the Heart of Texas; Shuffle Off to Buffalo; New Orleans; Flying Down to Rio; Look Who’s Dancing; East of the Sun; You; Young & Healthy; The Continental; Dance For Daddy; When I Take My Sugar To Tea; If I Had You; Cheek To Cheek; Let’s Face the Music and Dance; Prom to Prom; Walkin’ My Baby Back Home. CD2: I Had the Craziest Dream; The Way You Look Tonight; Nap’s Dream; Time After Time; My Heart Belongs To Daddy; Jazz Wagner; On the Good Ship Lollypop; Crescendo Date; People in Love; Star Eyes; Jazz Goes to Siwash; Suze Blues; Grey Flannel; Angel Eyes; G Tune; Sandy Shoes; Cameo; Love Me Or Leave Me; Them There Eyes.


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