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Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 3 & 4

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Today is the day that I finally come clean about Art Pepper and me. In 1984, I was taking a year off between having finished Pharmacy School and beginning a graduate program in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design. During this time, I had my yearly eye appointment with my ophthalmologist, one Dr. A. Henry Thomas, with whom I struck up a conversation regarding jazz. Up to this point, the only jazz recording I owned was...of course...Miles Davis's Kind of Blue ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: The Art Pepper Quartet

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Omnivore Records has struck up a dandy relationship with Laurie Pepper and the Art Pepper Estate, resulting in an impressive discography, that when coupled with Laurie Pepper's own Widow's Taste Records, has provided fans many hours of previously unreleased music. First released by the label was the 2015 Neon Art Series: Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3. These recordings were first released as neon-colored vinyl long players in 2012, taking advantage of the renewed interest in analogue vinyl and ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 1 & 2

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Alto saxophonist Art Pepper's comeback began the release of Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). His previous 20 years had been fully devoted to heroin and prison, and their inevitable aftermath. Following the release of Living Legend, Pepper toured Japan in April 1977 and March 1978. Pepper found his most dedicated and enthusiastic crowd in Japan, recording a good deal of live material there. In 1979, Pepper was approached by a small Japanese niche label, Yupiteru, later to become Atlas ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Unreleased Art: Volume 9 - Art Pepper & Warne Marsh At Donte's, April 26, 1974

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When any previously unheard Art Pepper is released, the event bears a bit of context. Laurie Pepper's Volume 9 addition to her Unreleased Art series is the 3-CD box Art Pepper & Warne Marsh at Donte's April 26, 1974. It contains music from late in Pepper's fallow period between the releases of Intensity (Contemporary, 1960) and his comeback period inaugurated by the release of Art Pepper: Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). I mark the period by Pepper's two studio recordings of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Art Pepper: Art Pepper Live at Fat Tuesday’s

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The discovery and release of Art Pepper Live at Fat Tuesday's is a surprising and welcome event that has some precedence in jazz reportage. “Art Pepper, 1926-1982" is a much anthologized obituary on Pepper by jazz writer Gary Giddins, originally published in his book Rhythm-a-ning (Da Capo Press, 1985) written shortly after the saxophonist's death. In that requiem essay, Giddins remarks of these shows: “He was living on borrowed time, and he knew it. The last time ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: Neon Art: Volume 3

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This concludes the Neon Art series, whose life began as three vinyl LP releases in 2012. Wisely, Pepper's widow, Laurie Pepper and co-producer Cheryl Pawelski decided to re-issue these performances on CD. Neon Art, Volume 1 and Neon Art, Volume 2 preceded Volume 3 in as many months. The Neon Art performances are not perfect artifacts of jazz music. They run long or are cut off short. There are screeches and honks, wrong notes and miscues. What ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Art Pepper

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Alto Saxophonist Arthur Edward Pepper, Jr. (1925-1982) wanted to be known as the “greatest alto saxophonist in the world," a tall order considering contemporaries like Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, and Paul Desmond. In spite of this, Pepper outlived all of them while forging a unique and personal sound. Pepper, along with Desmond and Lee Konitz, were among the few small-combo saxophonists able to forge an individual sound despite the long shadow of Bird. Art Pepper's professional career can ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: Neon Art: Volume 2

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Hard on the heels of Neon Art, Volume 1 (Omnivore, 2015), Art Pepper's Neon Art, Volume 2 retains the first volume's rhythm section save for pianist George Cables taking the place of Milcho Leviev. This sets up and interesting contrast of piano styles while all else remains the same. Volume 1 was recorded from a single show at Seattle's Parnell's on January 28, 1981. The selections making up Volume 2 were recorded in November of the same year while Pepper ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: Neon Art, Volume 1

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This is not a new release. It is a sensible one. In 2012, Omnivore Records released Art Pepper: Neon Art, Volume 1 in colored vinyl, taking advantage of the current baby boomer infatuation with the inferior medium of our childhood. In the case of Pepper, the medium is not the message. This is music that demands to be heard however, and the time comes that it be released to a larger audience than those hip dinosaurs trying to live 50 ...


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