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Surf Ride

Art Pepper

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Album Review

The music on this Savoy CD (put out by Nippon Columbia) is quite brilliant, but the packaging leaves something to be desired. The recording dates are all incorrect; there are only 12 performances included (around 37 minutes) and none of the sessions are reissued in complete form. Two of the dates, quartet outings with either Russ Freeman or Hampton Hawes on piano, have just three of their four numbers reissued while only six of the eight songs from the altoist's classic session with tenor saxophonist Jack Montrose are here. Even if the four missing selections had been included, the program would have totaled around 49 minutes. The somewhat random nature of this set is unfortunate, for Pepper is in superior form throughout, with highlights including "Tickle Toe," "The Way You Look Tonight" and his earliest recordings of such originals as "Susie the Poodle," "Straight Life" and "Surf Ride." If you can't find the more definitive LP sets, though, this will be an acceptable substitute for most.

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,...
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Surf Ride, Art Pepper
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