VOICES Notes and news on New Releases
12 MAR 10 CHRIS SLAWECKI
Alto player Art Pepper seemed to naturally, almost gracefully, find his own instrumental voice. But while his saxophone seemed to so easily flow, Pepper battled through a series of addictions and struggled with life. So you almost wonder why fortune smiled one January afternoon and guided Pepper into the studio for a date with the hard-hitting rhythm section from the baddest jazz band in the land, which led to Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section, available as an OJC Remaster March 30.
In January '57, Miles Davis came from New York with his first great quintet -- Coltrane, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones -- on tour through the West Coast, where Pepper had found his personal alto sound, sharp and weightless as bright sunlight, through years of performing and recording. Pepper literally met the rhythm section at a recording studio during Davis' tour stop in Los Angeles, and then cut Meets The Rhythm Section.
Pepper composed the swinging "Red Pepper Blues" and "Waltz Me Blues" on the spot with Garland and Chambers respectively. He leads riotous romps around Dizzy Gillespie's "Tin Tin Deo" and "Birk's Works," and a stomp right through the Dixieland classic "Jazz Me Blues." This set's only disappointment is its unimaginative title.
Pepper's catalog is full of live dates he recorded on both coasts, such as The Hollywood All-Star Sessions (1996, Galaxy), San Francisco Samba ('97, Contemporary), and several standalone live albums compiled into The Complete Village Vanguard Sessions ('95, Contemporary).
Red Pepper Blues
Art Pepper, from Art Pepper Meets The ...
Rise ’n’ Shine
John Coltrane, from Settin' The Pace ...
Polka Dots And Moonbeams
Philly Joe Jones, from Philly Mignon
Everything Happens To Me
Art Pepper, from The Complete Galaxy ...
Here's That Rainy Day
Art Pepper, from San Francisco Samba: ...
in this playlist.