Dave Pell Octet / Dave Pell

Jazz Goes Dancing (Prom to Prom)

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The Dave Pell Octet, which made its first recordings in 1953, came out of the Les Brown big band and was the epitome of a swinging, cool-toned, West Coast-style jazz group. Pell's ensemble at the time consisted of the leader on tenor, trumpeter Don Fagerquist (an underrated great), trombonist Ray Sims, baritonist Marty Berman, pianist Arnold Ross, guitarist Tony Rizzi, bassist Bob Bates and drummer Irv Kluger. In order to increase his audience, Pell went out of his way to play for dancing audiences without altering his music much. This long-out-of-print LP is an excellent example of Dave Pell's music of the era, with a dozen songs (two originals and ten vintage standards) whose titles have something to do with college-age people or dancing. Examples include "Young and Healthy," "The Continental," "When I Take My Sugar to Tea" and "Walkin' My Baby Back Home." Worth exploring.

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