Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

412

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Vol. 1 & 2

By

Sign in to view read count








Art Pepper
Unreleased Art, Vol. 1: The Complete Abashiri Concert (Nov. 22, 1981)
Widow's Taste
2007


Art Pepper
Unreleased Art, Vol. 2: The Last Concert (May 30, 1982), Kool Jazz Festival
Widow's Taste
2007




Art Pepper's widow, Laurie (his third and final wife), started the Widow's Taste label to give more of the saxophonist/clarinetist to his fans and to introduce him to those as yet uninitiated. Pepper passed away 26 years ago this month after what was arguably one of the rougher lives in jazz. The first two volumes of this new archival series, representing two performances from the last year of his life, speak to an apparent cache of fantastic material awaiting release.

Volume 1, a concert in Abashiri, Japan from late 1981, features one of the best, by his own admission, rhythm sections Pepper ever employed: pianist George Cables, bassist David Williams and drummer Carl Burnett. The performance brims with varying emotion and intensity, a particularly invigorating moment occurring as the band kicks into high gear on an airtight version of "Besame Mucho." However, the chief highlight, one among many, is undoubtedly the heartbreaking rendition of "Body and Soul," which also boasts one of Cables' beautiful solos: Few could make a ballad work like Art Pepper and "Mr. Beautiful" is with him on every gesture. The Japanese audience is more than exuberant as the quartet closes out the show with a spicy take on Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning." There is some minor cassette hiss and "Landscapes" is incomplete, but these are minor drawbacks to a major document.

Back on US soil for Volume 2, Pepper embarked on a tour in the spring of 1982 that culminated at Washington's Kennedy Center as part of the Kool Jazz Festival. This, his last concert, was taped by Voice of America days before his hospitalization and death, but one hears no trace of illness. The audience is even more involved than was the Japanese crowd as Pepper lopes through the silkily powerful "Ophelia." Roger Kellaway fills the piano chair admirably, even if his occasional forays into free jazz territory seem forced. His entrance on "When You're Smiling" is especially tasty as he backs Pepper on clarinet; the energy builds almost to breaking point, subsides and builds again, as effective on record as it must have been in the hall.

The patter that informs Pepper's later discs is abundant throughout the two volumes and he is charming rather than caustic. He dedicates "When You're Smiling" to Zoot Sims and though the ecstatic audience yells for more, it was not to be. Still, fans are lucky to have these vibrant recordings. The sound is never less than acceptable and usually very crisp and clear. If the first two volumes provide any indication of things to come, this series should be dynamite!


Tracks and Personnel

Unreleased Art, Vol. 1: The Complete Abashiri Concert (Nov. 22, 1981)

Tracks: Landscape; Besame Mucho; Red Car; Goodbye; Straight Life; Road Waltz; For Freddie (part 1); For Freddie; Body and Soul; Talk Rhythm-A-Ning; Blues Encore (inc.).

Personnel: Art Pepper: sax; George Cables: piano; David Williams: bass; Carl Burnett: drums.

Unreleased Art, Vol. 2: The Last Concert (May 30, 1982), Kool Jazz Festival

Tracks: Landscape; Talk; Ophelia; Talk; Mambo Koyama; Over the Rainbow; Talk; When You're Smiling.

Personnel: Art Pepper: sax; Roger Kellaway: piano; David Williams: bass; Carl Burnett: drums.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Make a List (Make a Wish)

Make a List (Make a Wish)

Art Pepper
Unreleased Art: Vol. 3 Croyden

Album Reviews
Bailey's Bundles
Album Reviews
Bailey's Bundles
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Building a Jazz Library
Album Reviews
Book Reviews
Extended Analysis
Bailey's Bundles
Hardly Strictly Jazz
Multiple Reviews
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
The Art Pepper Quartet

The Art Pepper Quartet

Omnivore Recordings
2017

buy
Unreleased Art: Volume 9  - Art Pepper & Warne Marsh At Donte's, April...

Unreleased Art:...

Widow's Taste
2016

buy
Unreleased Art: Volume 9 - Art Pepper & Warne Marsh At Donte's, April...

Unreleased Art:...

Widow's Taste
2016

buy
Art Pepper: Art Pepper Live at Fat Tuesday’s

Art Pepper: Art...

Elemental Music
2015

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume Multiple Reviews
Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume
By Geno Thackara
January 12, 2019
Read Meeting of the Minds and Sounds: The Clarinet and The Oud Multiple Reviews
Meeting of the Minds and Sounds: The Clarinet and The Oud
By Doug Collette
January 12, 2019
Read Two major releases from Ferran Fages Multiple Reviews
Two major releases from Ferran Fages
By John Eyles
January 11, 2019
Read Music Matters: SRX Vinyl Multiple Reviews
Music Matters: SRX Vinyl
By Greg Simmons
January 10, 2019
Read Tim Motzer: Late-Night Soundscapes Multiple Reviews
Tim Motzer: Late-Night Soundscapes
By Geno Thackara
December 26, 2018
Read Drummers As Leaders Multiple Reviews
Drummers As Leaders
By Jerome Wilson
December 23, 2018