The real deal
Jazzcat | Genoa, Italy Italy | 09/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On the paper that lies under the disc inside the jewel box of these three albums from Dave Pell (Irving Berlin, Burke/Van Heusen, Rodgers/Hart songbooks) you can read the sentence "The real West Coast Jazz" (I always write WCJ with capitol letters). If this adjective, "real" means that this music is "good, pure, clean, unadulterated, true, valuable West Coast Jazz", this is absolutly correct. The music contained in these three fifties songbooks from Dave Pell Octet is pure fantastic West Coast Jazz, arranged by the great Shorty Rogers and played by some of the best of the best, some of the owners of the club, Dave Pell, Don Fagerquist, Tony Rizzi, Claude Williamson, Lucy Ann Polk (vocals). Lucy sings some tunes in a very proper way, with a nice "white" tone, a tender swing and perfect time. But she sings only a handful of tunes (still perfectly West Coast arranged by the way), a lot of tunes are instead pure instrumentals. So these are not "vocal" albums in the end. A nice mix of tunes where Lucy sings the theme and some pure instrumentals and nothing more. The bullseye is still on the composer, the arrangements and on the musicians. Pure West-West-West-West-West Coast Jazz. Don't worry! I can't express completly the joy this music gives me. This music is Jazz of the highest caliber, and at the same time it is incredibly funny and entertaining. I don't know why these gems from the West Coast are so unknown and maybe, underrated by many. Maybe only because they emphasize melody? Being able to communicate through MELODY is the most important thing in music! The musicianship here is of the HIGHEST Grade without any doubt! These West Coast guys were tremendous and they belong to Jazz Heaven. These three albums are in the same league of "I had the craziest dream" from Dave Pell, they are of the same unique and very high quality. Buy the three together and you will have a lot of music to enjoy for a very long time. Buy these three albums, you will never regret and you will listen to them hundreds od times. I REALLY REALLY LOVE THIS OCTET ! =)))))))"