Art Pepper

Complete TV Studio Recordings

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Alto saxophonist Art Pepper succeeded in bringing his music to television audiences on three different occasions. His debut over this otherwise largely square medium was on The Steve Allen Show of January 18, 1957, with pianist Carl Perkins, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Chuck Flores. On March 31, 1957, Pepper performed on Bobby Troup's KABC Stars of Jazz Show, with pianists Larry Bunker and Victor Feldman, bassist Don Payne, and once again Chuck Flores behind the drum set. The vocalist on "Stormy Weather" was Pam Russell. The following day, the quartet heard on The Steve Allen Show reconvened and made a series of recordings for a company that pioneered the prerecorded stereo reel-to-reel tape format, then issued on the Aladdin label (see The Art of Pepper, Vol. 3 on Blue Note). Three alternate takes from this session are included here. Anyone familiar with the grim and at times horrifying details of Pepper's difficult life as a strung-out jailbird will understand the rather ominously intense nature of tracks eight through 10, culled from one of Ralph J. Gleason's Jazz Casual shows, recorded in and presumably televised from San Francisco on May 9, 1964. Fortunately, Gleason made room for the artists to stretch out and express themselves at length; "The Trip" runs for eight and a half minutes and a fascinatingly free-flying "D Section" expands to just under a quarter of an hour. The producers of this stunning Lone Hill Jazz compilation have mapped the progression from Pepper's West Coast cool bop to something decidedly darker, freer, and more complex, as the music evolved in ways that were commensurate with the dramatic changes that occurred throughout U.S. society during the late '50s and the early to mid-'60s.

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