Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section is a mythic recording. The circumstances surrounding its genesis were first revealed in Pepper's steely autobiography Straight Life and reproduced countless times in articles and liner notes. Here it goes, one more time. On the morning of the recording session, January 19, 1957, Pepper's then-wife Diane informed him that she had secured an afternoon recording session with the Miles Davis rhythm section who were in Los Angeles appearing with Davis. Unhappily surprised and with a horn in bad need of repair, Pepper fixed an extra large amount of heroin and was off to the session. The music produced from this chaos has been described as "a diamond of recorded jazz history."
The material for the session previously selected by the artists. After some discussion, drummer Philly Joe Jones suggested Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" and the historic session was off and running. The date gradually began to take shape. Red Garland provided an original "Red Pepper Blues." The Burke/Van Heusen ballad "Imagination" was included. The quartet mixed things up with the New Orleans classic "Jazz Me Blues" played against Chano Pozo?s Afro-Cubano credo "Tin Tin Deo" (featuring some solid drumming by Jones) A pair of blues juxtaposes as well. "Waltz Me Blues" was a session original composed by Pepper and bassist Paul Chambers. It is lilting and light. It stands in great contrast to John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie?s smoky minor blues "Birks? Works." Perhaps central to the recording was the Pepper original "Straight Life." This Pepper classic is a complex and fast paced piece of West Coast Be Bop. It, along with "Somewhere over the Rainbow," would become his signature song. A brisk "Star Eyes" and bonus track "The Man I Love" round out the collection.
Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section is one of those singular events that can only occur in a blaze like reading King Lear by a lightning flash.
Track Listing: You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; Red Pepper Blues; Imagination;
Waltz Me Blues; Straight Life; Jazz Me Blues; Tin Tin Deo; Star Eyes; Birk's Works; The Man I Love. (Total Time: 67:07).
Personnel: Art Pepper: Alto Saxophone; Red Garland: Piano; Paul
Chambers: Bass; Philly Joe Jones: Drums.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.