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Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section (Remastered)

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Album Review

By the time of this, Art Pepper's tenth recording as a leader, he was making his individual voice on the alto saxophone leave the cozy confines of his heroes Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz. Joining the Miles Davis rhythm section of pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones made the transformation all that more illuminating. It's a classic east meets west, cool plus hot but never lukewarm combination that provides many bright moments for the quartet during this exceptional date from that great year in music, 1957. A bit of a flip, loosened but precise interpretation of the melody on "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" gets the ball rolling, followed by a "Bags Groove" parallel with "Red Pepper Blues," and a delicate, atypical treatment of "Imagination." A compositional collaboration of Pepper and Chambers on the quick "Waltz Me Blues" and hard-edged, running-as-fast-as-he-can take of "Straight Life" really sets the gears whirring. Philly Joe Jones is a great bop drummer, no doubt, one of the all-time greats with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach. His crisp Latin-to-swing pace for "Tin Tin Deo" deserves notice, masterful in its creation and seamlessness. Pepper makes a typical "Star Eyes" brighter, and he goes into a lower octave tone, more like a tenor, for "Birks Works" and the bonus track "The Man I Love." It's clear he has heard his share of Stan Getz in this era. Though Art Pepper played with many a potent trio, this one inspires him to the maximum, and certainly makes for one of his most substantive recordings after his initial incarcerations, and before his second major slip into the deep abyss of drug addiction. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

AWESOME

Few words can be used to describe this. Please buy this as it is a classic

Probably the best Alto player....ever

Few would argue that Art Pepper was one of the greatest alto players, he had a lilting, romantic, yet powerful tone. He played very lyrically, and while this album is not always an "easy" listen, it is still a great introduction to his playing. There are many claims about his lack of preparation for this recording date, but his biography "Straight Life" sheds more light on this. He was recording a few days before, so the "he hadn't picked his horn up for 6 months" stuff is spurious. Listen to the ballad Imagination, a great interpretation, and for an idea of this guy's speed technical ability, try "Straight Life" It's all great stuf though...... well worth buying

I love pepper

I wouldn't argue with crazydaisydoo on anything except the "he didn't pick up his sax for six months" bit. His autobiography states that he didn't pick up his sax for six months, Laurie arranged this recording behind his back to get him back out and playing again nowing that if she told him he wouldn't go but if he thought he was letting down the Miles Davies rythym section then he would. It says that he ran for his sax in panic and found that the last time he played it he'd forgotten to take the mouthpeice off and the cork had shattered when he moved it. Then he rocked into a studio and blew this, EPIC.

Biography

Born: 01 September 1925 in Gardena, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Despite a remarkably colorful and difficult life, Art Pepper was quite consistent in the recording studios; virtually every recording he made is well worth getting. In the 1950s he was one of the few altoists (along with Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond) that was able to develop his own sound despite the dominant influence of Charlie Parker. During his last years, Pepper seemed to put all of his life's experiences into his music and he played with startling emotional intensity. After a brief stint with...
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