Art Pepper | Unreleased Art, Vol. I: Abashiri

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Jazz: Cool Jazz Blues: Funky Blues Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Unreleased Art, Vol. I: Abashiri

by Art Pepper

Soulful, witty, funky, tender, exciting!
Genre: Jazz: Cool Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Landscape (Live)
10:47 album only
clip
2. Besame Mucho (Live)
15:10 album only
3. Red Car (Live)
12:43 album only
clip
4. Goodbye (Live)
10:39 album only
clip
5. Straight Life (Live)
8:16 album only
clip
6. Road Waltz (Live)
12:52 album only
clip
7. For Freddie, Pt. 1 (Live)
0:42 album only
clip
8. For Freddie, Pt. 2 (Live)
8:33 album only
clip
9. Body & Soul (Live)
13:29 album only
clip
10. Talk (Live)
0:32 album only
clip
11. Rhythm-a-Ning (Live)
12:54 album only
clip
12. Blues Encore (Incomplete) [Live]
2:14 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Review
But the new 1981 recording is all but unprecedented. (The album begins with pianist George Cables's solo already in progress and with the instruments momentarily offmic, and there are occasional audio artifacts of the whole concert having come from a cassette source; after the first minute, though, the sound is fine.) Just when you think Pepper is prepared to stretch the melody as far as it will go, he abandons the rest of the tune and slips effortlessly into an improvisation, returning to Jenkins's tune at the end of the first chorus. He inserts a Tatum-like chromatic run here, a darting phrase there (as does Mr. Cables, the only other soloist on the 11-minute track), but mostly he plays long blobby lines that don't seem to have anything to do with the tune, yet have everything to do with the idea of Goodbye. Pepper is continually recontextualizing himself and the song; this is his answer to Hamlet's soliloquy, the debate over the advantages of being and not being. On the album, he plays increasingly intense phrases, both soul-searing and sentimental. Like the spirits at the end of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, he is looking back and reflecting on what he will miss when he leaves the world behind: Farewell to hot dinners and hot chicks, farewell to girls with bad attitudes in tight dresses, farewell to one-night stands of both the musical and personal kind, farewell to forging checks, farewell to fixing with fellow convicts, farewell to practicing and practicing, to studying and absorbing everything he could from Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Benny Carter, to bad pianos and squeaky reeds, farewell to drug clinics and rehabs, farewell to Stan Kenton and Buddy Rich, farewell to groupies and roadies, farewell to the Los Angeles County Jail and to San Quentin. The other 10 tracks from the 1981 concert include some wonderful boppers (Monk's Rhythm-ANing ), blues, and one samba ( Besame Mucho ). There's also another killer ballad, a transcendent version of Body and Soul (another very rare tune in the Pepper canon), in which he also seems to be taking the title literally and contemplating the metaphysical. He describes it afterward as one of the nicest things I think I've ever played in my life ... I'm sober and happy because of music. But it's the Jenkins tune that stays with us: Here, in Abashiri, a town that few non-Japanese have ever heard of (can it be a coincidence that Abashiri is best known as the site of the Abashiri Prison?), a great musician is saying goodbye. --Will Friedwald/NY Sun

Laurie Pepper, the widow of the great jazz saxophonist, Art Pepper, has started putting out some of his excellent unreleased recordings on her label, Widow's Taste. …Compulsively self revealing… Saxophone notes fly, piano chords are dense, cymbal sounds carpet the rhythm. Jazz was still in the era of the heroic statement. --Ben Ratliff/NY Times

Laurie Pepper, the widow of the great jazz saxophonist, Art Pepper, has started putting out some of his excellent unreleased recordings on her label, Widow's Taste. …Compulsively self revealing… Saxophone notes fly, piano chords are dense, cymbal sounds carpet the rhythm. Jazz was still in the era of the heroic statement. --Ben Ratliff/NY Times

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