Essential Standards highlights OJC/Contemporary/Galaxy recordings made over the course of three decades by alto saxophonist Art Pepper. The majority of these ten tracks feature Pepper playing his main instrument, with the exception of "Move," where he switches to tenor, while picking up the clarinet for "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)." These tracks emphasize Pepper's ability to make every performance his own, no matter how many times he had played them. While there is nothing here the jazz collector doesn't already own, Essential Standards provides a decent sampling for the curious listener at a mid-line price.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell