Alto Saxophonist Art Pepper, a native of Gardena
California, played in the overtly emotional manner that came
to define the West Coast style. His solo approach was
always passionate, from early recordings made with Stan
Kenton's orchestra during his years with the band (1943 and
1946-52) and in jam sessions on LA’s Central Avenue.
Records and club work with Shorty Rogers and his Giants
beginning in 1951 provided more room for his solo skills,
and by 1952 he began cutting more intimate and open
quartet and quintet sessions under his own name. By this
time he had already developed a dependence on alcohol,
pills, and heroin that led to an erratic lifestyle and (in 1952)
the first of several arrests and incarcerations.
For the remainder of the decade, Pepper alternated
stretches in prison with bursts of recording activity