Dave Pell

Old South Wails

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The final recording by the Dave Pell Octet until 1984 is a bit of a departure, for the 12 numbers are mostly Dixieland standards, including "Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble," "Ballin' the Jack," "Jazz Me Blues," and even "The Saints." The arrangements (by Med Flory, Marty Paich, Bill Holman, Harry Betts, Bob Florence and John Williams), however, are more modern, very much in the 1950s West Coast jazz style championed by Pell. The Octet (which includes Pell on tenor, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, trombonist Harry Betts, baritonist Flory, Paich or Williams on piano, guitarist Tommy Tedesco, bassist Lyle Ritz and drummer Frankie Capp) plays the charts well, swinging lightly, and the key musicians take plenty of short solos. Although there are hints of Dixieland in spots, this is mostly a cool jazz session and serves as the swan song for the fine group. It is a pity that so few of Dave Pell's recordings (including this one) have yet to be reissued on CD.