Here is the sampler (and a fine one at that) from the box set...
From 1979 until his death in 1982, alto saxophonist Art Pepper, while still under contract to Galaxy, recorded for the small Japanese concern, Atlas, overtly as a sideman on a series of "All-Star" sessions, featuring a number of prominent West Coast musicians. I say overtly a sideman because covertly he was the undisputed leader on these dates. As Pepper's wife Laurie points out in the liner notes, Pepper was approached by Japanese producer Yasuyuki Ishihara who wanted him to lead a series of recordings that would reprise his beast work from the 1950s with the same personnel. These recordings were expected by Ishihara to sell well on the island. Pepper had the readily apparent problem that he was under exclusive contract, but still wanted to give Ishihara what he wanted. He was not so interested in covering old ground and so stipulated that he and his wife Laurie would choose the sidemen for the sessions. So, under the guise of sideman/leader, Pepper recorded seven releases for Atlas between 1979 and 1982. This assembly of Music was released under the Galaxy title Art Pepper—The Hollywood All-Star Sessions.Art Standards is the very clever sampler from these recordings.
Of special note in this collection is the inclusion of four recordings Pepper made with Sonny Stitt. Pepper had a great deal of respect for Stitt, as he expounded upon in his autobiography Straight Life. "Bernie’s Tune," "How High The Moon," "My Funny Valentine," and "Imagination" are all relaxed and swinging with none of the angst and anxiousness alluded to in Straight Life. This is superb alto saxophone Be Bop playing by both parties and sans Charlie Parker. If anything, Pepper puts a Coltrane slant on things. Also present are reprises with Jack Sheldon ("You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To") as well as introductions to Bill Watrous ("Begin The Beguine") and Lee Konitz ("S’wonderful"). This is not definitive Pepper, but it is at his most relaxed when we might think he had fun rather than feel as if he were putting it all on the line.
Track Listing: Begin The Beguine; You
Personnel: Bob Cooper: Sax (Alto); Lee Konitz: Sax (Alto); Milcho Leviev: Piano; Shelly Manne: Drums; Art Pepper: Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor); Sonny Stitt: Sax (Alto); John Heard: Bass; Pete Jolly: Piano; Lou Levy: Piano; Bill Watrous: Trombone; John Dentz: Drums; Monty Budwig: Bass; Chuck Domanico: Bass; Tony Dumas: Bass; Jack Sheldon: Trumpet; Roy McCurdy: Drums; Bob Magnusson: Bass.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.