Marty Paich Biography

Marty Louis Paich, 23 January 1925, Oakland, California, USA, d. 12 August 1995, Hidden Hills, California, USA. While still undergoing a long and thorough academic training, Paich began writing arrangements. After military service, during which he was able to continue his musical career, he returned to his studies and by the end of the 40s had gained numerous qualifications. In the early 50s he worked with a number of dance bands and also with Shelly Manne and Shorty Rogers, with whom he appeared on the successful and influential album Cool And Crazy. Also in the early 50s he was, for a while, pianist and arranger for Peggy Lee and wrote arrangements for Mel Tormé. He also wrote charts for another highly successful west coast album, Art Pepper Plus Eleven.

An inventive and inquiring mind was clearly at work in all Paich’s writing, whether as arranger or composer, and he proved particularly adept at creating material for small to medium-sized groups that allows the bands to sound as though they involve many more musicians. His work with such singers as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Anita O’Day, Sammy Davis Jnr. , Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughan, whether as arranger or musical director and conductor, demonstrated an acute appreciation of the particular needs of interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Paich also composed for films and television but the late 80s saw him back on the road with Tormé and some of his former Dek-tette sidemen, reunions that updated past glories with no hint of repetition and resulted in some remarkable record albums. He died of cancer of the colon in 1995.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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