Dave Gelly MBE (born 28 January 1938) is a British jazz critic. A long-standing contributor to The Observer, he was named Jazz Writer of the Year in the 1999 British Jazz Awards. Gelly is also a jazz saxophonist and broadcaster, presenting a number of shows for BBC Radio 2 including Night Owls for much of the 1980s.
Gelly attended St Dunstan's College, Catford, and read English under F. R. Leavis at Downing College, Cambridge. He played with Art Themen and Lionel Grigson in the Cambridge University band, and from the mid-1960s co-led his own quartets and quintets with Frank Ricotti, with Jeff Scott, and with Barbara Thompson. He was also a member of the New Jazz Orchestra, directed by Neil Ardley, which also featured Ian Carr, Jon Hiseman, Barbara Thompson, Mike Gibbs, Don Rendell, and Trevor Tomkins. Gelly was a teacher during the 1960s and 1970s at William Penn School, Dulwich.
- As leader/co-leader
- 2001: Strike A Light (Mainstem Records)
- As sideman
- 1968: Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe – The New Jazz Orchestra
- 1971: A Symphony of Amaranths – Neil Ardley
- 1973: Mike Taylor Remembered (with Jon Hiseman, Barbara Thompson, Ian Carr, Henry Lowther, Norma Winstone, Ron Mathewson, Stan Sulzmann, Alan Branscombe and Chris Pyne, among others)
- 2003: John Williams's Tenorama (Spotlite Records)
- The Giants of Jazz (Schirmer Books, 1986) with Miles Kington
- Masters of Jazz Saxophone: The Story of the Players and Their Music (2000)
- Stan Getz: Nobody Else But Me (2002) ISBN 0-87930-729-3
- Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young (Equinox, 2007)
- An Unholy Row (Equinox, 2014)
- 'Cambridge Tripos Results', Times, 23 June 1960.
- 'Authors: Dave Gelly', Jazz Journal (Accessed 28 April 2019).
- Art Themen biography Archived 2013-04-30 at the Wayback Machine David Taylor's British jazz website. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- Chilton, John (2004) Who's Who of British Jazz 2nd Edition, p. 147. Continuum At Google Books. Retrieved 28 July 2013.