Art Pepper / Art Pepper Quintet

Smack Up

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The title of this recording, Smack Up is ironic and inadvertently truthful. Within a short period, Art Pepper would begin spending many years in jail due to his heroin addiction; this was his next-to-last album from that period. Despite the bleak future, the great altoist (who never seemed to make an uninspired record during his unstable life) is in excellent form in a quintet with trumpeter Jack Sheldon, pianist Pete Jolly, bassist Jimmy Bond, and drummer Frank Butler. Highlights of this fine album include Harold Land's title cut, the five/four blues "Las Cuevas de Mario," and Ornette Coleman's "Tears Inside." [Some reissues add two takes of the otherwise unknown "Solid Citizens."]

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