Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Pell, Dave (David)

Pell, Dave (David), tenor and baritone saxophonist, leader; b. NY, 26 February 1925.

He played with the big bands of Bob Astor, Bobby Sherwood, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Ralph Flanagan, and Ray Anthony. He toured with Tony Pastor (1944-5) and then settled in Los Angeles, where he played and recorded with Bob Crosby (1946) and Les Brown (1947-55). From 1953 he led his own groups (often an octet), including former members of Brown's band and Pepper Adams, Benny Carter, Don Fagerquist, Mel Lewis, Red Mitchell, Marty Paich, Art Pepper, and Ray Sims. He also recorded with Shorty Rogers (1953), John Graas (1955-6), Pete Rugolo (1956,1958), Benny Goodman (1958), and Gene Krupa (1959). He also worked as a producer for Tops Records (from 1955), Liberty Records (from 1961), Uni Records (from 1966), and again for Liberty Records (from 1967).

In 1978-9 he directed the Lester Young tribute group Prez Conference. He still performs on occasion, including a reconstituted Prez Conference on June 12 1998 in Redondo Beach and a benefit for the late Jazzbo Collins (radio host) in San Francisco in March 1998. He is a close friend and regular golf partner of Lee Young.

Dave Pell Octet Plays Burke (1953); Dave Pell Plays Irving Berlin (1953); Dave Pell Octet; Dave Pell Plays Rodgers & Hart (1954); Duke Ellington Big Band Sounds (1961); I Remember John Kirby (1961); Pres Conference (1978); Prez and Joe (1979); In Celebration of Lester Young (1980); Plays Again (1984); Live at Alfonse's (1988)


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