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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: The Return of Art Pepper

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Alto saxophonist Art Pepper's first incarceration for drugs took place between August 1954 and July 1956, a period conspicuous for Pepper's absence from the recording studio. Pepper's first recording as a leader after his release was, aptly, The Return of Art Pepper. He had been busy as a sideman for trumpeters Shorty Rogers (Big Shorty Express (RCA, 1956)) and Chet Baker (The Route (Pacific Jazz, 1956)) before entering Capitol Studios on August 5, 1956 to record the ten pieces that ...

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Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 5 & 6

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Omnivore Records concludes its remastering and re-release of Art Pepper's Yupiteru (later to become Atlas Records) recordings volumes 5 and 6, featuring, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, and drummer Shelly Manne, respectively. To date, the label has remastered and released four volumes: Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions" Volumes 1: Sonny Stitt (2017); Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions" Volumes 2: Pete Jolly (2017); Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions" Volumes 3: Lee Konitz (2017); and Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions" ...

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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 ...

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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 ...


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