Art Pepper

Early Art

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This excellent two-LP set contains some of the lesser-known recordings of altoist Art Pepper in the 1950s, all of his performances for the Intro and Jazz West labels. Pepper is heard on five selections in a quintet that includes vibraphonist Red Norvo and pianist Gerald Wiggins, ten songs with trumpeter Jack Sheldon and eight numbers in a quartet with pianist Russ Freeman. Highlights include "Straight Life," "Tenor Blooz" (on which Pepper switches to tenor), "Broadway," "Patricia" and "When You're Smiling." This high-quality cool-toned bop music deserves to be much better known and eventually reissued in complete form on CD.

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