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V.S.O.P. #52 LP Ava AS39 SWEET SEPTEMBER, THE PETE JOLLY TRIO & Friends
w/Pete Jolly (piano), Chuck Berghofer (bass), Larry Bunker (drums), Nick Martinis (drums), Howard Roberts (guitar).
Recorded November 15, 1963 at United Recorders, Hollywood, CA. Engineer: Bones Howe.
. Recorded in late 1963 for Fred Astaire's Ava (Choreo) record label, this was the second album on Ava for Pete Jolly. Up until he made these recordings, most of Pete's sessions were done for RCA, with a few exceptions. Having been Shorty Rogers' favorite pianist this comes as no surprise as Shorty was both very active and influential at RCA. This period ushered in a further development: the permanent establishment of The Pete Jolly Trio, which had existed since 1960, but had only recorded one album for MGM Records. This is also the second studio recording of the trio with Chuck Berghoffer on bass.
The influence of film and show music that was predominant at Ava/Choreo also had an effect on this recording. At least one of selections is from a then recent foreign film and show tunes are well represented. Notably, “Any Number Can Win”, the Michel Magne film composition from the French movie of the same name is recorded less than 6 months after the movie came out; “No Other Love” from “Me and Juliet”, one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s lesser successes, “I Have Dreamed” from “The King and I” and “Yours Is My Heart Alone” from Franz Lehar’s operetta “The Land of Smiles”. Pete also pays tribute to other musicians, showcasing English pianist Bill McGuffie’s “Sweet September” and naming the album after the song. Ava had a distribution agreement with MGM Records, and this may have helped sell the release in the UK. Another tip of the hat to a fellow musician is the choice of Cuban composer Julio Gutierrez’s “Kiss Me Baby”, Gutierrez having recently escaped Havana and resettled in New York. Of course, the jazz standards are not ignored, Fletcher Henderson’s “Soft Winds”, Sonny Rollins’ “Oleo”, Duke Ellington and Harry James’ “I’m Beginning to See The Light”, and Paul James and Kay Swift’s feature for Libby Holman, “Can’t We Be Friends”. Like “Little Bird”, this is a great jazz album requiring no special accolades or puffery that fully speaks for itself.
Other sources for this CD: City Hall Records