Monday, July 11, 2016

Don Fagerquist Octet

Trumpeter/arranger Fagerquist defines the typical West Coast cool sound, and his band plays every nuance, phrase, and measure in hushed tones as a reserved, attractive, easily likable pure jazz persona. The band features such notables as alto saxophonist Herb Geller, valve trombonist Bob Enevoldsen, pianist/arranger Marty Paich, and drummer Mel Lewis. Lesser knowns such as second trumpeter Ed Leddy, baritone saxophonist Ronnie Lang, bassist Buddy Clark, and French horn player Vince DeRosa prove their mettle amongst the tall California redwood big names. The octet plays eight reworked standards, some like "Easy to Love" much cooler than the others, and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" a fine, full, and mellow ballad, both trumpet led. Though typical of '50s cool, "Aren't You Glad You're You?" has a hopping "Would You Like to Swing on a Star"-type melody, trumpet and trombone upfront, piano setting up the horns who throw this melody down, while the easy swinger "All the Things You Are" is somewhat predictable but rich in harmonic content. It's clear this is Fagerquist's session and he deals the melodic cards on "The Song Is You," the others playing a second line, then the whole section counterpoints the third. They're all over the place, bouncing here and there during "Time After Time," and DeRosa leads into trumpet on "Easy Living," followed by a tip-toe traipsing bridge chart for all. The most challenging arrangement crops up on "Lullaby of Birdland." The first half of the melody is cleanly stated, the other half broken up and reassembled several times over, a good swinger as Geller's alto gets the spotlight in a Bird-like solo with more counterpoint and Enevoldsen's trombone trading lines with Geller. This is a sleeper, one that doesn't jump out and grab you graphically, and the names are innocent, most notably Fagerquist's. Still it's a session that should not be ignored as one of the hallmarks of Pacific jazz expressionism in those feel-good times and a pivot point in jazz recordings of glorious 1957. Highly recommended.
Michael G. Nastos

Source :

Don Fagerquist Octet
Eight by Eight
(Music to Fill a Void)


1 Aren't You Glad You're You (Burke, VanHeusen)  5:14
2 Easy to Love (Porter)  4:41
3 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Harbach, Kern)  3:33
4 All the Things You Are (Hammerstein, Kern)  3:32
5 The Song Is You (Hammerstein, Kern)  3:55
6 Time After Time (Cahn, Styne)  4:20
7 Easy Living (Rainger, Robin)  4:12
8 Lullaby of Broadway (Dubin, Warren)  4:13


Don Fagerquist - tp
Herb Geller - as
Ronnie Lang - bs
Ed Leddy - tp
Bob Enevoldsen - tb
Vince DeRosa - frhrn
Marty Paich - p
Buddy Clark - b
Mel Lewis - dr

Recorded on September 14, 1957, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California


swingingduck said...

I'm shaking my head in wander.
Where on earth have you found this?
I will always remember this friday, as the day when thanks to your dedication and generosity I finaly found what I was looking for for ages.
Many, many thanks.

Bhowani said...

ah pour une fois :

This one I have it already for years ! my own purchase. bien à moi...lalalère !!

so I don't need to download it !! for the first time !!! I am the best...I am the best !!!

exceptionnal !! I won't take it !!!merci Mel !!!! you make me feel so proud !!!! :-)

Axel.T. said...

Wonderful, Just wonderful. Thank you for this rare gem.

jazz-bone said...

thank you so much,great!

Affonso said...

A password is needed.

blbs said...

Thank you

boro boy said...

A rare find indeed - an absolute gem. Many thanks for taking the trouble to find and upload such a Fagerquist treasure.

Philo said...

Don Fagerquist Octet - Eight by Eight (1957)

Wonderful West Coast sound! Very well recorded. This is nice.

VeryBlasted said...

thank you for turning me on to this great album

L.O.L. said...

Thanks, Mel:)

Davidscott789 said...

Thank you!

hepcat said...

Many thanks, excellent album.

deGallo said...

Thank you.

AmyBRAINS said...

Many thanks, Melanchthon.

Chris said...

Thanks Mel for this great octet

JazzMat said...

Hello Mel, many thanks!

Jazzsoulman said...

Marty Paich

ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks Thanks. I have seen this lp few times..Scratched to death. Was never been able to find one I could listen to, in peace. Many thanks again, a real Gem.

Melanchthon said...

adakun said...

Muchas gracias Mel.

DEEP said...

This recording (Lp & CD) has been in print for over 30 years by VSOP Records. All that was needed was to google it.
In fact the entire Mode catalogue is in print by VSOP

DEEP said...


Kovina Kris said...

I love west coast Jazz. I love the lineup. What's not to love? Thank you Mel!