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ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman by Laurie Pepper

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ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman Laurie Pepper 358 Pages ISBN: # 978-1494297572 Art Pepper Music Corporation 2014 About two-thirds the way through her memoir, ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman Laurie Pepper plants her spear in the dirt and declares the obvious: “A question I ask myself is if Art hadn't had me there constantly assessing his mood, taking his aesthetic temperature, would he then have had to push his vision by himself"? I think somebody else, another friend or lover, might have done ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Straight Life – The Story of Art Pepper by Art and Laurie Pepper

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Straight Life--The Story of Art Pepper Art and Laurie Pepper 506 Pages ISBN# 0306805588 Da Capo Press 1996 Writer's Note: Straight Life--The Story of Art Pepper is 35-years old and is a well-established piece of jazz reportage not requiring further comment, which has never stopped me. I have written this piece for a two-fold reason: one, to provide All About Jazz some commentary original to the magazine, and to anticipate Laurie Pepper's long awaited memoir, ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman (Art Pepper Music Corporation, 2014). These two books taken together ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art - Vol. VIII (2013)

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After recovering from a hellish descent into drug addiction, crime, and incarceration, the legendary alto saxophonist Art Pepper resurrected himself as a player. He accomplished several fine recordings, a number of live performances on the US West Coast, a couple of important stops in New York, and a notable tour of Japan. Pepper thus had a few good years in the late 1970s and died all too soon of a stroke in 1982 at the age of 56. His comeback was not just a has-been's effort at squeezing out a few good shows. He achieved a genuine resilience, stretched the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Vol. VIII - Live At The Winery, September 6, 1976

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Laurie Pepper, widow of alto saxophonist Art Pepper, has been shepherding the artist's discography since the turn of the millenia. Unreleased Art Vol. VIII: Live At The Winery, September 6, 1976 reveals there may be no end in sight for unreleased material from this important jazz musician. Ms. Pepper has done a couple of things different this time. One, she is releasing a performance by Pepper early in his comeback, after the release of Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975), Pepper's first recording since 1960's Intensity (Contemporary) and before his triumphant appearance at New York City's Village Vanguard, documented on The Complete ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Pepper, Vol. VII and Neon Art

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Art Pepper (1929 -1982) is the story, but an important subtext is his widow, Laurie Pepper, who, since 2006, has been expanding the saxophonist's discography with unreleased live recordings from the 1980s. At the time, Art Pepper was enjoying his comeback, which began in 1975 with the release of Living Legend (Contemporary), hitting its stride in 1977 with his appearance at New York City's Village Vanguard (The Complete Village Vanguard Sessions (Contemporary, 1977)). The period between 1977 and the saxophonist's death in 1982 included successful tours of Japan, where Pepper was very popular. Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. VII is taken ...

HARDLY STRICTLY JAZZ

Art Restoration: Laurie Pepper and Widow's Taste Records

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It was F. Scott Fitzgerald who wrote, “In American life, there are no second acts," which means he clearly was not an Art Pepper fan.Pepper was one of the great alto saxophonist stars of the bop era, famed not only as a Stan Kenton sideman, but also for his own albums as a leader. In 1951, he placed second in the alto saxophone category in Downbeat Magazine's annual poll, losing by fourteen votes to Charlie Parker. Tragically, Pepper's drug habit meant that he spent way too much of the fifties in jail, despite playing some of the best ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Art Pepper: Live In The USA And Japan

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In 1971, alto saxophonist Art Pepper left the Synanon drug rehabilitation center in California. The first thing he did, according to Straight Life (Schirmer Books, 1979), his ironically titled autobiography, was get loaded. He began using heroin again, then cocaine and washed both down with phenomenal amounts of alcohol. He didn't use marijuana, said it made him nervous. What with Synanon and time served in prison for drug offences, Pepper had been off the scene for more than 15 years. He felt a need to “keep up" and shocked many of his admirers by abandoning his hitherto ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Art Pepper: Blues for the Fisherman

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Art PepperBlues for the FishermanWidow's Taste2011 Laurie Pepper has been the lightning rod for the music of her late husband, Art Pepper, since the saxophonist's death at 56 in 1982. She took proper control of his musical legacy in 1981 on the advice of the couple's accountant, transferring ownership of the saxophonist's works and contracts to the entity Arthur Pepper Music Inc., where, as intellectual assets, the corpus was protected from outside encroachment. In 2006, Pepper founded Widow's Taste records, dedicated to releasing Art Pepper music previously unavailable ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: Blues For The Fisherman

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What jumps out of Art Pepper's Blues for the Fisherman is his alto saxophone's boldness and overt expressiveness. If prior exposure has only scratched the surface of Pepper's work--perhaps with the ubiquitous Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section (Contemporary, 1957)--this live recording fairly smashes expectations of a polite, cool performance. Recorded in two nights at Ronnie Scott's London jazz club in 1980, Pepper is simply on fire, this set burying any lingering misconceptions that Pepper was just a west coast cool blower. Blues for the Fisherman provides a rare opportunity to hear two complete uninterrupted club dates, including ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Vol. 5: Stuttgart May 25, 1981

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Recorded during a European tour by Pepper's “comeback quartet" with drummer Carl Burnett, bassist Bob Magnusson and pianist Milcho Leviev, Unreleased Art Vol. 5: Stuttgart May 25, 1981 is a genuine labor of love: Not only the performers' love of music but also the devotion of this alto saxophonist's fans, who sent their own recordings of this date to Pepper's widow, Laurie, who turned them over to producer Wayne Peet for remastering and sequencing into this two-disc set.The leader aside, Pepper's support trio is one hell of a band; led by Leviev's sympathetic piano and Magnusson's sensitive bass, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: Jazz Showcase, Chicago

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This 1977 Chicago Art Pepper performance was bootlegged in Spain. As it was stolen to begin with, the saxophonist's widow, Laurie Pepper re-purloined it, releasing it on her independent Widow's Taste label. That is the beauty of today's technology. Historically, this show came in the middle of Pepper's East Coast Tour capping the saxophonist's comeback before his artistic Gotterdammerung that ended with his death from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1982. This particular tour ended with Pepper's famous stretch at New York City's Village Vanguard with George Cables, Elvin Jones, and George Mraz, captured in its entirety on The Complete Village ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art, Vol V: Stuttgart May 25, 1981

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Art Pepper Unreleased Art, Vol V: Stuttgart May 25, 1981 Widow's Taste 2010Since 2006, alto saxophonist Art Pepper's discography has grown by a CD of previously unreleased or limited released performances per year. This bounty is due to the diligence of Pepper's widow, Laurie, who has been accumulating material from her own and other private collections and releasing them on her Widow's Taste label. This has proven fortunate for Pepper-ophiles and students of post-bebop and hard bop alto. The four releases prior to Unreleased Art, Vol V: Stuttgart May 25, 1981 are ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Volume 4: The Art History Project

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In her liner notes to Volume IV of the Art History Project, Art Pepper's widow describes him as a self-hating, alcoholic sex addict who turned to heroin in order to suppress these tendencies. Second only to Charlie Parker in the DownBeat polls of the day, nobody played alto saxophone as smooth and cool as Art Pepper. Unreleased Art, a three-disc set comprised of two-thirds never-before released material, traces Pepper's life in music from his golden era in the '50s through his prison- interrupted discovery of John Coltrane in the '60s, and concludes with his final period, fresh out of rehab ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: The Art History Project

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The tragic jazz life and death story of saxophonist Art Pepper was similar to that of Charlie Parker in many ways. Like Bird's brilliance, Art Pepper's intense flame burned bright, and his genius with the saxophone was subject to fan adoration and critical admiration. Unlike Parker, who died at age 35, Pepper lived into his mid-50s, making an infamous comeback from drugs and prison.This three-disc compilation is the fourth in a series of releases curated by Pepper's widow, Laurie. The first three releases dealt with unreleased materials from the altoist's live dates in Croydon, UK 1981, Abashiri, Japan ...



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