Dave Pell – A Pell Of A Time (1957)

FrontCover1David “Dave” Pell (February 26, 1925 – May 7, 2017) was an American jazz saxophonist and bandleader. He was best known for leading a cool jazz octet in the 1950s.
Pell first played in his teens with the big bands of Tony Pastor, Bob Astor, and Bobby Sherwood, and then moved to California in the middle of the 1940s. There he played on Bob Crosby’s radio show in 1946, and was a member of Les Brown’s band from 1947 to 1955.

In 1953, he began working with his own ensembles, mostly as an octet: Pell on tenor sax, another saxophone (either a baritone or an alto), trumpet and trombone, guitar, and a piano-bass-drums rhythm section).[2] Among the octet players were Pepper Adams, Benny Carter, Mel Lewis, Red Mitchell, Marty Paich, Art Pepper and, early his career, John Williams. These ensembles recorded in the 1950s for Atlantic, Kapp, Coral, Capitol, and RCA Victor; alongside this, he played as a sideman for Shorty Rogers, Pete Rugolo, Benny Goodman, and Gene Krupa. He also produced in the 1950s and 1960s for Tops, Uni and Liberty; among his credits in production were some singles by Gary Lewis & the Playboys.

In 1961, Pell switched to alto sax and clarinet for I Remember John Kirby, a tribute album to bassist/bandleader Kirby who led a successful small group in the 1930s and ’40s.

Pell was the recording session leader for the 1965 hit song “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)”, performed by Los Angeles studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew but attributed to The T-Bones.
In the 1970s, he assembled the group Prez Conference, a Lester Young tribute ensemble. In the 1980s, he returned to the octet format, and played on and off into the 1990s. (by wikipedia)


The Dave Pell Octet was one of the great cool jazz bands of the mid- to late ’50s. This fairly rare LP found Pell altering the personnel greatly, with Pell and pianist/arranger Marty Paich being the only holdovers. In addition, the arrangements of Paich, Bill Holman, Paul Moer (who, like trombonist Ray Sims, is a substitute on three songs), and Jack Montrose are opened up, and the musicians take much longer solos than on Pell’s earlier albums. With trumpeter Jack Sheldon often starring and there being some excellent spots for baritonist Pepper Adams, this is a rather different album by the Dave Pell Octet, a bit harder-charging and more hard bop-oriented while still retaining the identity of the original group. Worth searching for. (by Scott Yanow)

Pepper Adams (saxophone)
Bobby Burgess (trombone)
Tom Kelly (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Marty Paich (piano)
Dave Pell (saxophone)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Tommy Tedesco (guitar)
Paul Moer (piano on 02., 05. + 07.)
Ray Sims (trombone on 02., 05. + 07.)


01. Jazz Goes To Siwash (Holman) 4.31
02. Suze Blues (Paich) 3.07
03. Grey Flannel (Paich) 6.41
04. Angel Eyes (Brent/Dennis) 5.38
05. G Tune (Moer) 2.42
06. Sandy Shoes (Pell) 5.18
07. Cameo (Montrose) 4.11
08. Love Me Or Leave Me (Kahn/Donaldson) 7.14
09. Them There Eyes (Tauber/Pinkard/Tracey) 5.19