I was especially honored to work with Dave Appell. Seeing him in his later years still composing, playing and arranging was such a thrill. The joy he exhibited during these sessions was inspiring to me.” -Paul Jost
Applejax featuring George Young are now available for live performace
THE APPLEJAX were formed in the 1950s by musician and record producer, Dave Appell. Appell is forever linked to some of the biggest hits from the Golden Age of Top 40 as the driving force behind the signature sound from Philadelphia-based Cameo-Parkway records.
The Applejax (originally The Dave Appell Four) amassed a legion of fans which led to an appearance in the 1956 Alan Freed movie “Don’t Knock the Rock.” By 1958, the group struck gold with a novelty instrumental called “Mexican Hat Rock.” From there, Dave’s stock rose to the stars with a succession of gold and platinum hits like: “Let’s Twist Again” and “Limbo Rock” for Chubby Checker; “Don’t Hang Up” and “South Street” for The Orlons; Bobby Rydell’s “Wild One,” Dee Dee Sharp’s soulful dance classic “Mashed Potato Time,” the biggest ‘70s hits by Tony Orlando and Dawn and others.
Paul Shaffer (David Letterman’s former sidekick and music director) found inspiration in Dave Appell’s music at about age 11 while watching Dick Clark’s American Bandstand: “His music really smacked me between the eyes when I was a kid! There was something about these tunes that really grabbed me. I never forgot the feeling of ‘South Street’ and the way that song rocked, or the way Dee Dee Sharp sang – this was really gospel music emanating from Philadelphia!”
By the mid-1980s, Dave began writing and compiling, over the last 30 years of his life, what would become a prolific catalog of original jazz-tinged compositions. The songs on this album are from this fertile writing period by Dave, balanced between smooth, groove and Latin jazz flavors. Billy Terrell (album producer) says, “Dave seamlessly and expertly blended these three genres together, all due to his incredible sense of melody.”
This music is played by a fresh, regenerated group of APPLEJAX; a collection of veteran musicians, modern jazz masters like Steve Beskrone (bass), Vic Stevens (drums), Hector Rosado (percussion),Demetrios Pappas (solo artist, now Smokey Robinson’s music director and pianist) and notably George Young (veteran sax player who goes back to the late 50s with Dave Appell at Cameo-Parkway).
George Young is one of the most frequently heard musicians of our time. He's played with the biggest names in music, such as Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, Mick Jagger, Madonna, and the list goes on. A highly respected artist in the entertainment industry, Young's undeniable talent can be heard as he performs with The Applejax.
During sessions for the new Applejax
CD, producer Billy Terrell found an unreleased gem tucked in the vaults:
“The Man on the Sliding Trombone.” The original 1950s instrumental
sounds fresh and vibrant. Perry Artese was enlisted to write first-ever
lyrics and singer Paul Jost rose to the occasion with a perfect vocal
performance on this swinger! Both versions are here as bonus tracks.
Roz Appell, Dave’s daughter, looks back with fondness at her Dad and the love he poured into his music: “He could absolutely knock me out with what he’d write; the melody, the structure of the music. Sometimes when Dad had an unfinished song, he’d sing the lyric or harmony to me on top of the track. His vocals and the music he created were thrilling for me to hear. My heart would just drop! This music is his lasting legacy.”
Welcome to the next generation of The Applejax … and the continuation of Dave Appell’s legacy of music.
"It's a joy and an honor for me to help keep Dave's musical legacy alive."- Billy Terrell, The Inquirer
“He could absolutely knock me out with what he’d write; the melody, the structure of the music...This music is his lasting legacy.”- Roz Appell
Vic Stevens- Drums-Percussion
Vic Stevens has been a professional musician since the age of 16.He has performed live and/or on recordings with jazz guitar legends Pat Martino, Larry Carlton, Scott McGill, Andreas Obers…bass greats Marc Johnson, Percy Jones, Michael Manning…pianists Otmaro Ruiz, Jim Ridl, Tamir Hendelman…percussionists…Louie Balzo and Jose Madera.
Singers such as Marie Muldaur,Lorrie Morgan, Helen Reddy, Martha Reeves, Tony DeSare and many others.In addition to extensive live performances and recording sessions, Vic has engineered and produced countless project at Giant Steps Recording which he has owned since 1992
Carl Cox- Tenor-Alto
Carl Cox is a freelance touring saxophonist/recording artist/educator from Southern New Jersey.He has performed with Smokey Robinson, Gerald Veasley, Billy Paul, The Roots, Jill Scott among others.
In 2006-2007 he worked mini tours with Gerald Veasley, mini tours with Sister Sledge and made various BET appearances with Kirk Franklin, the Jimmy Fallon Show with the Roots and Goodie Mob rap group tour.
Demetrios Pappas- Keyboards
Since graduating from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, Demetrios Pappas has become one of the most prolific and on demand keyboard players in the music business.He has been the Musical Director for “Smokey Robinson” since 2007, appearing at Carnegie Hall in NYC, The Greek Theater in L.A., Royal Albert Hall in London and on numerous television shows.Demetrios also performed with the Legendary “Funk Brothers” on the tour of the film “Standing In The Shadows of Motown”.A film telling the intimate story of the Motown session musicians written and documented by Allan Slutsky.
Andy Lalasis- Acoustic & Electric Bass
For over 20 years, Andy Lalasis was the bassist who accompanied all the visiting headliners at legendary “Elaines” within Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino.Those performers include, Joanie Sommers, Billy Eskstine, Ann Hampton Calloway and Billy Daniels.
Andy has been a member of the Atlantic City Showroom Orchestra circuit for over 30 years.He is always in demand and his versatile style makes him the consummate bass player of choice for artists everywhere.
Matt McCloskey (Jazz/Rock guitarist. Fisher-Hassenfeld College House) began studying music at age 12 and began playing professionally at the age of 16.He graduated with honors from Musicians Institute in L.A. and earned a masters in jazz studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Matt has performed with artists as diverse as T. Lavitz of the Dixie Dregs, Gerald Veasley, Lou Rawls, Chuck Mangione and Scott Henderson.He has performed countless venues across the country.Atlantic City and Vegas showrooms, The Wilton Theater in Hollywood, Philadelphia’s Prince Theater and numerous jazz clubs.
Bob Ferguson- Trumpet-Flugle Horn
Bob Ferguson has been performing concert venues throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean for over 30 years.He received a BA from Stockton University in 1978 and a Masters in business from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998.
Bob has appeared in the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Trenton Jazz Festival, Music Fest in Bethlehem, PA, the Chicago Blues Festival, the San Juan Caribbean Jazz Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival and the Cape May Jazz Festival.
He has numerous recording credits as a soloist and session player and over 6000 showroom performance in the Casino Hotel & Resort industry.