283

Art Pepper: Winter Moon

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Art Pepper: Winter Moon Recorded in 1980, Winter Moon is Art Pepper's "with strings" album. I know that phrase will strike fear and loathing into the heart of many a jazz fan, but this album is as sympathetic a meeting as it is possible to imagine. Pepper never sounds compromised or constrained by the strings (as has been the case on other albums of the genre). On the contrary, thanks to arrangements by Bill Holman and Jimmy Boyd, the strings beautifully complement Pepper's playing and that of his quintet, never jarring or intruding but subtly underpinning and enhancing the mood of each piece.

With Pepper's band predominantly playing as a rhythm section, Pepper is in the solo spotlight throughout. In nearly an hour of playing, he never disappoints once. Like all great jazz soloists, he achieves that perfect balance between playing lines that are logical and sound obvious whilst also being fresh and surprising. And his tone is rich, full of a lifetime of emotion and experience.

This album is so consistent that it is difficult to pick outstanding tracks. Pepper's own "Our Song" is prefaced by a sweeping string intro, leading into a sustained and varied solo. "That's Love" and "Blues in the Night" (the latter with Pepper on clarinet) showcase his fine blues playing. But "The Prisoner (Love Theme from The Eyes of Laura Mars )" probably pips them all, with a mellow-toned, beguiling solo that has a sting in the tail. Magic. There are people who will try to tell you that Art Pepper's best work was all done for Contemporary before 1960, and that his work after 1975 was an interesting but minor postscript. If they do, you need say nothing. Just play them this album. Case dismissed.


Track Listing: Our Song; Here's That Rainy Day; That's Love;Winter Moon; When The Sun Comes Out; Blues In The Night; The Prisoner (Theme From "The Eyes Of Laura Mars"); Our Song [Alternate]; The Prisoner (Theme From "The Eyes Of Laura Mars")[Alternate]; Ol' Man River.

Personnel: Art Pepper, alto sax (clarinet on "Blues In The Night"); Stanley Cowell, piano; Howard Roberts, guitar; Cecil McBee, bass; Carl Burnett, drums; plus strings.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)" CD/LP/Track Review Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Warsaw Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Warsaw Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Wash My Horse In Champagne" CD/LP/Track Review Wash My Horse In Champagne
by James Nadal
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval</em>" CD/LP/Track Review Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval</em>
by John Eyles
Published: June 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!