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Dave Pell

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Biography

Dave Pell started out touring with the Tony Pastor, Bob Astor, and Bobby Sherwood bands as a teenager, before moving to California in the mid-'40s. He found work with Bob Crosby on the latter's Ford radio show in 1946, then played with the Les Brown band from 1947 to 1955. Drawing from the ranks of the Brown band, he began leading his own groups in 1953, usually in an octet format, augmented by guests like Pepper Adams, Benny Carter, Mel Lewis, Red Mitchell, Marty Paich, and Art Pepper. He also played as a sideman on records by Shorty Rogers, Pete Rugolo, Benny Goodman, and Gene Krupa in the 1950s, while recording under his own name for Atlantic, Kapp, Coral, Capitol, and RCA Victor. His primary focus of activity in the 1950s and '60s was in the record business, working as a producer for the budget Tops label in the '50s, and Liberty (where he supervised a few hit pop/rock records for Gary Lewis & the Playboys) and briefly Uni in the '60s. He formed a group in the late '70s called Prez Conference, a variation on the theme of Supersax, as a tribute to Lester Young, recording two albums for GNP/Crescendo. In the '80s and '90s, Pell revived his octet for recordings on the Fresh Sound (1984) and Headfirst (1988) labels, and sporadic live dates in the Los Angeles area, including an appearance at the Jazz West Coast festival in 1994. ~ Richard S. Ginell

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Born:

26 February 1925 in New York, NY

Genre
Years Active:

'50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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