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MARTY PAICH

Second Set : Four Classic Albums

Avid Jazz AMSC1173

 

 

CD1

Revel Without A Pause

  1. Blue Lou

  2. Soft Wind

  3. Dinah

  4. Iris Of The IRA

  5. Jumpin' At The Woodside

  6. Look Around

  7. Ida

  8. Yardbird Suite

  9. Logrolling

    Marty Paich - Piano

    Jack Sheldon, Don Fagerquist - Trumpet

    Stu Williamson - Trombone

    Bob Enevoldsen - Valve trombone

    Buddy Clark - Bass

    Mel Lewis - Drums

    Marty Paich Trio

  10. I Hadn't Anyone Till You

  11. The Facts About Max

  12. Dusk Light

  13. The New Soft Shoe

  14. A Dandy Line

  15. El Dorado Blues

  16. What's New

  17. By The River Sainte Marie

    Marty Paich - Piano

    Red Mitchell - Bass

    Mel Lewis - Drums

    CD2

    The Broadway Bit : The Modern Touch Of Marty Paich

  1. It's All Right With Me

  2. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face

  3. I've Never Been In Love Before

  4. I Love Paris

  5. Too Close For Comfort

  6. Younger Than Springtime / The Surrey With The Fringe On Top

  7. If I Were A Bell

  8. Lazy Afternoon

  9. Just In Time

    Marty Paich - Piano, arranger

    Art Pepper - Alto sax

    Bill Perkins - Tenor sax

    Jimmy Giuffre - Baritone sax, clarinet

    Bob Enevoldsen, George Roberts - Trombone

    Frank Beach, Stu Williamson -Trumpet

    Victor Feldman - Vibraphone

    Vince DeRosa - French horn

    Scott LaFaro - Bass

    Mel Lewis - Drums

    I Get A Boot Out Of You : Marty Paich And The Modern Touch Thereof

  10. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

  11. No More

  12. Love For Sale

  13. Moanin'

  14. Violets For Your Furs

  15. What Am I Here For/Cottontail

  16. Warm Valley

  17. Things Ain't What They Used To Be

  18. Marty Paich - Arranger

    Art Pepper, Bill Perkins, Bill Hood - Saxophone

    Vince DeRosa - French horn

    Al Porcino, Conte Candoli, Jack Sheldon - Trumpet

    Bob Enevoldsen, George Roberts - Trombone

    Russ Freeman - Piano

    Vic Feldman - Vibraphone

    Joe Mondragon - Bass

    Mel Lewis - Drums


Marty Paich died some twenty years ago, aged 70. He was an arranger, composer, pianist and bandleader who was pretty well synonymous with the heyday of West Coast jazz. In fact, he was hailed by Ted Gioia in his definitive book on the West Coast school as '...one of the unsung heroes...' of that time and place. This re-issue of four of his albums by Avid will provide a welcome opportunity for those who enjoyed Paich's work first time around to renew old acquaintance. It also provides an insight for newcomers as to the kind of music that characterised the California jazz scene, in particular during the 1950s. A host of significant musicians of that era are present on these discs. There's the poignancy of hearing Scott LaFaro play again this supremely gifted bass player was killed in a car crash when only 25. Then there is the chance to remind ourselves of one of Britain's finest exports to the States, pianist and vibes player Victor Feldman, who plays on both the band recordings.

While there are some outstanding moments on the Revel Without A Pause album, in my opinion it isn't up to the standard of the other three recordings. The septet is, of course, technically proficient and offers easy listening in the best sense of that phrase. The counterpoint which is so much part of the West Coast sound is there and the material represents an invitation to swing. Nevertheless, I was enthused by only one track, Look Around, a Bill Holman original which he also arranged. The Marty Paich Trio recording illustrates the ability of Paich as a pianist but also as a composer. The Facts About Max, Dusk Light, The New Soft Shoe and El Dorado Blues, all Paich compositions, are models of writing which allow musicians space to breathe. In the first of these, you can hear Mel Lewis at his rhythmic best, in the next, Paich illuminates a contemplative piece through the quality of his playing. The New Soft Shoe receives sterling service from Red Mitchell on bass and Paich's Shearing-like piano. El Dorado Blues, where piano and bass again combine splendidly, lives up to its title. An old-school standard like What's New is given a measured treatment with both imaginative arrangement and improvisation. The Trio recording supports the view that Paich is underrated as a pianist and, of course, that he knows how to pick a winning combination. By the way, Mel Lewis who is the drummer on all four albums, maintains a high standard throughout.

The second CD contains two albums, The Broadway Bit and I Get A Boot Out Of You.

Some of the cream of West Coast musicians are represented here in the larger groups assembled for these recordings. The show tunes that make upThe Broadway Bit provide fertile territory for exploration and the soloists in particular take full advantage. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face has a wistful Jimmy Giuffre on clarinet, for instance, while on I've Never Been In Love Before he plays a swinging baritone sax. Scott LaFaro is superb on bass on this latter number as indeed he is in Too Close For Comfort where, in addition, Art Pepper makes an impact with that distinctive reedy (and fiery) tone of his. In Younger Than Springtime/The Surrey With The Fringe On Top, Bill Perkins reminds us of just how good a tenor player he was. Marty Paich's minimalist piano playing and Vic Feldman's vibes (very Milt Jackson, to this hearer) are part of an intriguing arrangement of Lazy Afternoon. The real strengths of the final album, I Get A Boot Out Of You, lie in the arrangements and performance of such classic jazz tunes as It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) and Things Ain't What They Used To Be. The former features the combustible Mel Lewis on drums and a robust Bill Hood on baritone. Another favourite, for me, would be the romantic Violets For Your Furs with a emotive Art Pepper on alto.

Compilations of this kind can be a little uneven in quality. However, anyone who was ever stirred by West Coast jazz will find much to enjoy here and will find plenty of evidence to confound the old canard that West Coasters didn't swing.

James Poore



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