Art Pepper: Art Pepper + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics (2002)
A second source of excellence in this recording is the presence of the late Marty Paich as the arranger. It was a monumental task that Mr. Paich undertook to mold these often craggy bebop tunes into the engaging big band vehicles they became under his pen. Denzil Best's "Move" simply jumps from the speakers. It is comparable to Miles Davis 1949 Nonette recording of the same song, except that Paich and Pepper add a hard shine to the soft bop of the song. Paich?s French Horns on Monk's "'Round Midnight" recalls both Gil Evans and Claude Thornhill before him, ensuring that lineage of thought remained intact. "Four Brothers," "Bernie's Tune," "Walkin' Shoes," and "Anthropology" are all treated as high art by artist, arranger and band alike.
Speaking of the band, this is the third mark of excellence in this recording. A Who's Who of West Coast musicians, it is fairly easy to pick out Pete Condoli's and Smiling Jack Sheldon's trumpets or Bill Perkins's tenor saxophone. Russ Freeman provides the piano as he did on several other Pepper offerings. A Big Band in all but name, this group of musicians was as essential to the historic significance of this recording as the leader and arranger.
This release of Art Pepper + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics is part of Fantasy's effort to release remastered masterpieces from its vaults. All of the alternate takes are released, as they have a several earlier offerings. The sonics of this release are exceptional. The drums and bass are clear and apparent and the space around Pepper and the other soloists is well defined.
Track Listing: Move; Groovin? High; Opus De Funk; 'Round Midnight; Four Brothers; Shaw 'Nuff; Bernie's Tune; Walkin Shoes; Anthropology; Airegin; Walkin'; Donna Lee; Walkin' (Alternate Take 1); Walkin? (Alternate Take 2) Donna Lee (Alternate Take).
Personnel: Art Pepper: Alto And Tenor Saxophones, Clarinet; Al Porcino, Jack Sheldon, Pete Candoli: Trumpet; Dick Nash: Trombone; Bob Enevoldsen: Tenor Saxophone, Valve Trombone; Vince De Rosa: French Horn; Charlie Kennedy, Bud Shank, Herb Geller: Alto Saxophone; Richie Kamuca, Bill Perkins: Tenor Saxophone; Med Flory: Baritone Saxophone; Russ Freeman: Piano; Joe Mondragon: Bass; Mel Lewis: Drums.
Record Label: Contemporary