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Art Pepper: Live In USA on Storyville Records

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Art Pepper
Art Pepper played with Benny Carter when he was 18 and gigged around Central Avenue with all-black groups such as Lee Young Sextet and later with Stan Kenton. Then he was in the army for two years and then back to Stan Kenton untill 1952. He was inactive the next few years while serving several jail terms for drug abuse.

He appeared at Newport in 1977 and toured Europe and Japan for the first time in 1978. He was influenced by Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, Lester Young and finally John Coltrane. This double CD Live in Japan was a live recording at the YBC TV Hall in Yamagata, Japan March 14, 1978. Seven long tracks are on the 2 CDs. Four of his own compositions and three standards.

Live in the USA comprises two live California sessions produced by Laurie Pepper in 1975 and 1977, respectively. The music is an often deeply emotional, lingering reflection of an exceedingly hard life that was slowly receding. At this point, Pepper had spent three years in rehab at Synanon and firmly established himself as one of the most important alto player of the post-bop period. He is in fine form, surrounded by young players whose skills he respected.

Art Pepper: Live in the USA

Art Pepper was a teenager in the late 1940s, when he began his professional career with Gus Arnheim's band, an esteemed relic from a bygone era. He also had another brush with the past, playing with Benny Carter, a man whose music remained forever fresh. With that background, young Pepper went out on his own, becoming a familiar face along Los Angeles' bustling Central Avenue. There he played alongside some of the great up-and-coming post-war jazz men, musicians who, like himself, would become the new faces of jazz. When the military called upon Pepper to serve, he did so between stints with the blossoming Stan Kenton Orchestra, but the discipline learned from both those gigs went by the wayside as he got caught up in the chaotic swirl of hedonism, jazz and drugs that characterized and ruined the life of many musicians back then. The inherent criminality of that life eventually landed Pepper a series of prison terms, but he managed to get back on track and, with the help of Laurie, his extraordinary wife and biographer, resume his career.

This set comprises two live California sessions produced by Laurie Pepper in 1975 and 1977, respectively. The music is an often deeply emotional, lingering reflection of an exceedingly hard life that was slowly receding. At this point, Pepper had spent three years in rehab at Synanon and firmly established himself as one of the most important alto player of the post-bop period. He is in fine form, surrounded by young players whose skills he respected.

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