Pete Jolly: Seasons (Future Days Recordings) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Pete Jolly


Future Days Recordings

Mar 29, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Pete Jolly was a jazz pianist who came to renown in the ‘50s and ‘60s for his session work and albums, earning two Grammy Award nominations and finding his music used in a host of television shows and movies. In the late ‘60s, Herb Alpert signed Jolly to his A&M record label, which then released three of Jolly’s records, Herb Alpert Presents Pete Jolly in 1968, Give a Damn in 1969, and Seasons in 1970. The last of these has been out of print on vinyl since 1971. Future Days Recordings, an imprint of Light in the Attic, is bringing Seasons back to the marketplace on the format in which it truly belongs, remastered from the original analog tapes.

Jolly’s most famous work is masterful but traditional jazz piano. Seasons is a completely different beast. For it, Jolly eschewed his usual piano for wurlitzer, accordion musette, sano vox, and hammond organ, holing up with his players—bassist Chuck Berghofer, percussionist Emil Richards, drummer Paul Humphrey, guitarist John Pisano, and percussionist Milt Holland—in a largely improvised four-hour session, which was then cut down to what would become Seasons.

Seasons has earned infamy for being used in samples for artists like De La Soul, Cypress Hill, and Redman, but mostly the album sticks out due to its complete and utter uniqueness from anything else Jolly recorded. Pressed here on spectacular-sounding vinyl, Seasons swings with Jolly’s masterful musicianship and the understated, complementary instrumentation of his accompanying musicians. But it surely is not your typical listen. The idiosyncrasies of the instruments Jolly is using and the improvisational nature of the compositions lend the album an exploratory feel. It’s almost as if Jolly and company were throwing things at the wall and seeing what stuck. Incidentally, it’s the uniqueness of the session which is lauded by Berghofer in the new liner notes for this reissue.

Seasons didn’t sell well at the time—listening to it and placing it in the context of his previous work, one can understand why—and the album was the last Jolly recorded for A&M. It’s a curious and at times beguiling work. Thankfully it’s back in print. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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