Marty Paich – One of Our Favorite Arrangers

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MARTY PAICH is one of our favorite arrangers. Some of the better albums arranged by Marty in our opinion are Spirit’s first, Art Pepper Plus Eleven, Ella Swings Lightly and Whisper Not, and the amazing The Hi-Lo’s And All That Jazz.  Copies or commentaries for all of them can be found on our site.

Because the Marty Paich Dek-tette usually appeared in support of other artists, its importance has been overlooked in jazz history. More than anyone else, Paich kept cool jazz alive long after his contemporaries (including Shorty Rogers and Gerry Mulligan) had abandoned the style. (Ironically, the final appearance of the classic Dek-tette appeared on Ella Fitzgerald’s 1966 album “Whisper Not”, where they backed her on a swinging version of “Time After Time”. In the late 1980s, Paich re-formed the Dek-tette for two reunion albums with Mel Tormé.) For Tormé, Jeri Southern, Sammy Davis, Jr. and the Hi-Lo’s, their albums with Paich and the Dek-tette represented some of their finest recordings. “Ella Swings Lightly” doesn’t qualify as Fitzgerald’s all-time best album, but it is certainly a highlight from an extraordinary part of her career.

Thomas Cunniffe

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