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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Pete Kelly At Home - Jack Webb - Pete Kelly's Big 7


Sweet Eloise

Pete Kelly At Home
Jack Webb
Pete Kelly's Big 7
RCA Victor LPM-1413


Trumpet: Dick Cathcart
Trombone: Abe Lincoln
Clarinet: Matty Matlock
Saxophone: Jack Chaney
Piano: Ray Sherman
Bass: Jud DeNaut
Guitar & Banjo: George Van Epps
Drums: Nick Fatool

From the back cover: The last time Pete Kelly's Big 7 cut an album it was a Sunday. There's a rumor jazz was set back a generation. This time it was done Saturday night – a jazzman's Saturday night, which means nobody goes home until Sunday. And nobody did.

The only formal thing about the album is that it's on tape. Otherwise, it follows the same pat formula jazz has always known, from Storyville down, to wit: pretty much what you make it.

Somebody asked me one day at lunch to list the twelve songs Pete Kelly and the group might do at home. I did. Next thing, we were in Ray Heindorf's living room in Encino and it seemed like this was the only musical place in the world to me.

If Pete Kelly was ever at home, this was home – with Mother to boot. Besides being a palace, Ray's living room has tonal characteristics of sheer magnificence. Plus his taping an playback gear. The sum: Outer Space.

The boys began playing at six p.m. And, with one exception, they didn't stop until Ray's rooster came in for a chorus about dawn the next day. The exception was a boatload of pastrami and pickles, on a raft of rye. It was expressed up Ventura Boulevard by Wolfie's Delicatessen about midnight to keep the crew from caving in.

If the songs here are unforgettable, to me the session that put them in this album is more so. It reminded me of the day, almost too long ago, when 35th and Calument in Chicago was the center of the universe. And when the boys got set at 35th and Calumet, it was just a case of every tub on its own bottom.

The riders are the same who brought in the Pete Kelly's Blues album, except that Jack Chaney pinch-hits for Eddie Miller on tenor and Abe Lincoln takes over the slide for Elmer "Moe" Schneider on trombone. They are a gang who know P.K. since his radio days and they haven't let him down yet.

Matty Matlock is back on clarinet, blowing like the days at the Jam Club on 52nd Street, but with a refinement; he puffed a piccolo for the "Dixie" bit. The cornet is Dick Cathcart (who else?), an old Air Force pal of min whose expression and comment in brass are flawless. Lincoln on trombone emancipates about every note in the dictionary. Chaney's tenor comes through with some of the loveliest inflections ever played. Ray Sherman learned the alphabet on the family's piano at the College Inn in the old jazz days. George Van Eps plays guitar and banjo and they just stay played. Nick Fatool's drums and Jud DeNaut's bass give the unified attack a gusto which is not lost in the precision parts. Matlock and Cathcart arranged. – Jack Webb

Over There
They Can't Take That Away From Me
Sweet Eloise
O Solo Mio
La Cucaracha 
Do You Know What It Means Miss Orleans
You Came Along (Out Of Nowhere)
Old Pigeon-Toed Joad
Fight On (for Old S. C.)

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