273

Art Pepper: Art Pepper + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Art Pepper: Art Pepper + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics Only a handful of jazz recordings can be described as truly classic. Art Pepper + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics is a member of that handful. Recorded between March and May 1959, + Eleven has the distinction of being excellent on multiple planes. One is Pepper himself. A journeyman multi-reedist who was already a veteran of big bands lead by Gus Arnheim, Benny Carter, and Stan Kenton, Pepper was reaching his first pinnacle as an artist when + Eleven was recorded. This recording falls chronologically between Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section (Contemporary CCD-7532-2) and Gettin' Together (Contemporary OJCCD-169-2) in the Contemporary catalog. This trilogy alone would have established Pepper's reputation as the finest post-Parker alto saxophonists, let alone all of his exceptional comeback recordings of the late '70s and early '80s that followed a decade of incarceration because of Pepper?s well known heroin addiction. Pepper's tone during this period was dry ice-cool, very expressive and brilliant.



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.



Visit Fantasy Records and Art Pepper on the web.


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.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Contemporary | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "El Toro" CD/LP/Track Review El Toro
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Nomade Orquestra" CD/LP/Track Review Nomade Orquestra
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Star-Spangled Voltage" CD/LP/Track Review Star-Spangled Voltage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Stinger" CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X" CD/LP/Track Review Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!