Thursday, June 1, 2017

Dave Pell Octet - I Had the Craziest Dream

The Dave Pell Octet was the epitome of mid-'50s West Coast jazz. With its tight arrangements, concise performances (usually around three minutes long despite the rise of the LP), soft tones, and distinctive brand of restrained swing, Pell's ensemble was a perfect representative of cool jazz. The ensemble originally was part of the Les Brown Big Band, gaining an independent life of its own in 1955. This valuable reissue CD from 1998 has all of the first 13 selections that Pell recorded for Capitol — eight from 1955 and the remainder from 1957 — plus four titles (one previously unissued) led by trumpeter Don Fagerquist with a similar band in 1955 (one of only two opportunities that the underrated great had to head his own date). Dave Pell's four-horn, four-rhythm group includes Fagerquist, either Bob Gordon or Ronny Lang on baritone, the leader on tenor, trombonist Ray Sims, guitarist Tony Rizzi, pianist Paul Smith, drummer Jack Sperling, and one of three bassists. The Fagerquist group differs in that, instead of a trombone, he featured three tenors (Pell, Zoot Sims, and Bill Holman). The arrangements (by Marty Paich, Wes Hensel, Shorty Rogers, Bill Holman, Jack Montrose, and Andre Previn) put an emphasis on melody, subtle surprises, and light swing, even at faster tempos. Basic originals alternate with updated versions of standards (mostly from the swing era). Of the soloists, Fagerquist and Rizzi come off best, although Pell also fares quite well. Although this style of West Coast jazz is largely extinct decades later (other than the notable Phil Norman Tentet), the music still sounds quite fresh and timeless. The Dave Pell Octet's many other recordings (for Trend, Kapp, Atlantic, Victor, and Coral) are out of print, so grab this valuable CD while you can.
Scott Yanow

Source :

Dave Pell
I Had the Craziest Dream


1 I Had the Craziest Dream (Gordon, Warren)  2:49
2 Jazz Wagner (Rogers)  3:25
3 Mike's Peak (Rogers)  2:25
4 Poopsie (Pell)  2:36
5 Star Eyes (DePaul, Raye)  2:52
6 Klump Jump (Paich)  2:43
7 My Heart Belongs to Daddy (Porter)  2:40
8 On the Good Ship Lollipop (Clare, Whiting)  2:05
9 The Way You Look Tonight (Fields, Kern)  2:19
10 Nap's Dream (Paich)  5:09
11 Time After Time (Cahn, Styne)  3:09
12 Crescendo Date (Paich)  3:44
13 People in Love (Dooley, Stein)  2:40
14 The Way You Look Tonight (Fields, Kern)  3:28
15 The Man I Love (Gershwin, Gershwin)  3:19
16 Love Is Just Around the Corner (Gensler, Robin)  3:33
17 Play Fiddle Play (Altman, Deutsch, Lawrence)  2:37


The Dave Pell Octet [# 1-13]
Dave Pell - ts
Don Fagerquist - tp
Ray Sims - tb
Tony Rizzi - g
Paul Smith - p
Joe Mondragon [# 1-4] ; Ralph Peña [
# 5-8] & Rolly Bundock [# 9-13] - b
Jack Sperling - dr
Roy Harte - bg
The Don Fagerquist Nonette
[# 14-17]
Don Fagerquist - tp
Bill Holman, Dave Pell & Zoot Sims - ts
Bob Gordon - bs
Vernon Polk - g
Donn Trenner - p
Buddy Clark - b
Bill Richmond - dr

Recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles on June 15, 1955 [# 1-4], June 17, 1955 [# 5-8], September, 1957 [# 9-13] & June 21, 1955 [# 14-17]


Orbyt said...

Formidable!. Just love the Dave Pell Octet. Huge thank you Mel.

Neal said...

How funny, I JUST dubbed my lp copy of this! No bonus tracks, but in there's in interest in a 24/96 Flac version, I could post the links here. In the meantime, thanks for the cd version w/bonus tracks!

PlantDoctor53 said...

Mon Dieux! A Dream come true... Merci beaucoup!

bajazzo said...

What's with all you cats?

This album is available on about 6 other blogs.

Neal said...

@Mr. Lucky...Hmm...I guess you were "Lucky" enough to find it before, then? My search netted ONE other blog with it, but in mp3. In any case, it's OOP on CD, but then it seems you travel to some blogs that some of us don't, perhaps?

cvllos said...

Thanks, mel; Dave pell swings joyfully - specially in flac version! - since I knew Les Brown records.

johnem said...

Dear Melanchthon, I never had the chance to enough thank you for all the things you’ve done (and you keep doing) for us, for all these wonderful records you share with us. So let me do it now, on this occasion. You have taught us a lot of things, and I thank you every time I enjoy this music. I wish you the very best. Keep surprising us!

grumpy said...

The Pell groups always displayed great musicianship and an infectious swing. I'd love to see lossless posts of:
Jazz Goes Dancing-Prom To Prom
Swingin' in The Ol' Corral
Some kind person, please.

yewsta said...

Thank you.

Heervee said...

Dave Pell:
Mel, You're keeping the right direction (at least mine), Thank you for this wonderful post

Anonymous said...

Thank U very much

Axel.T. said...

Another terrific Dave Pell album. I'm just having a Pell of a time listening to all this great jazz.
Thank you again,

Baron said...

Thanks for this Pell album Mel ... Baron

Davidscott789 said...


headman said...

Amazing...I've been searching for this EVERYWHERE.

Thanks for yet another terrific share, Mel.

blissedout said...

Thanks, Mel, for your impeccable offerings: Dave Pell - Jazz and Romantic Places (1955); Dave Pell - Jazz Goes Dancing (Prom to Prom) [1956]; Dave Pell Octet - I Had the Craziest Dream (1955)

deGallo said...

Thank you.

stringbender said...

Sacre Bleu! Many thanks for posting this classic!

AmyBRAINS said...

Nice album!!
Many thanks, Melanchthon.

ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks Mel

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

jazzcat1228 said...

Thank you, Mel!

Melanchthon said...

sep troelstra said...

Thanks a lot!!

Kovina Kris said...

I have come to know and love Dave Pell mostly from your blog Mel and as a West Coast Jazz fan he's right up my alley. Thank you very much!