Art Pepper | Unreleased Art Pepper, Vol. 10: Toronto 1977

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Jazz: Soul-Jazz Jazz: Hard Bop Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Unreleased Art Pepper, Vol. 10: Toronto 1977

by Art Pepper

CD BOX SET/32 pg BOOKLET—RELEASE DATE 11/2/18 . Blues-influenced Be-Bop with some Coltrane-y stuff around the edges;
Genre: Jazz: Soul-Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Song for Richard (Live)
16:52 album only
2. Long Ago and Far Away (Live)
13:22 album only
3. Here's That Rainy Day (Live)
10:17 album only
4. Blues for Heard (Live)
4:16 album only
5. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Live)
15:37 album only
6. All the Things You Are (Live)
16:59 album only
7. Band Intros (Live)
2:20 album only
8. The Summer Knows
16:50 album only
9. I'll Remember April (Live)
14:30 album only
10. Samba Mom Mom (Live)
17:40 album only
11. Star Eyes (Live)
12:26 album only
12. Interview
30:16 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Historical / BY J.D. CONSIDINE
Unreleased Art Pepper, Vol. 10: Bourbon Street–Toronto, June 16, 1977 (Widow’s Taste; 60:34/50:47/60:27 4 STARS!)
Past Pepper
For many jazz fans, the high point of Art Pepper’s late-’70s comeback was a four-night stand at New York’s Village Vanguard that was recorded for Contemporary Re-cords and released, at first, as four albums, and later as a nine-CD set. These rangy, sometimes raucous performances (with pi-anist George Cables, bassist George Mraz and drummer Elvin Jones) captured the questing, Coltrane-inflected sound of his later years, while still reflecting the lyric, bop-schooled virtuosity of his early work.
But like most great moments in recorded jazz, those albums didn’t just happen. Those sessions were the culmination of what was, unbelievably, Pepper’s very first tour as a bandleader, and the whole thing likely nev-er would have happened had it not been for the persuasive charm of Artists House Records chief John Snyder. According to Laurie Pepper, the saxophonist’s widow, it was Snyder who suggested that he play the Vanguard (also a first), convinced club owners outside of New York to book Pepper, and who—after a return engagement at the Vanguard was requested—pitched making a live album there (although Lester Koenig and Contemporary, who had Pepper under contract, ultimately made the recording).
In that sense, Unreleased Art Pepper, Vol. 10: Bourbon Street–Toronto, June 16, 1977 (Widow’s Taste; 60:34/50:47/60:27 ) is a dry run for those sessions. Recorded six weeks before the Vanguard shows, it finds Pepper in front of a different rhythm section, but obtaining much the same results.
The three-CD set starts, impressive-ly, with a semi-rubato introduction to Joe Gordon’s “A Song For Richard,” during which Pepper invokes the mood of A Love Supreme-era Coltrane without actually copping licks. After almost three minutes of mood setting, the bandleader states the theme and spends another four slow-build-ing minutes working out the melodic and dramatic possibilities within the tune. It’s breathtaking.
Listening to how easily the band follows Pepper’s lead, it’s hard to believe the group hadn’t played together before that gig. At one point, Pepper warmly compliments Bernie Senensky, saying, “There’s a certain rapport between a horn player and a piano player that, if it isn’t there, nothing can hap-pen.”
Just as crucial, though, are the bassists, 17-year-old Dave Pilch, who was the main-stay for Pepper’s Toronto gig, and 37-year-old Gene Perla, who sat in as preparation for accompanying him at the initial Vanguard show. Part of their dominance has to do with the way their basses were amplified, using a bridge pickup and a presumably powerful amp. But mostly, it’s because each player moved freely between straight time-keeping and melodic, contrapuntal lines, a strategy that let Pepper move easily be-tween a hard-driving bop approach and a freer, more harmonically daring line.
To make an easy comparison, when the group launches into a medium-tempo reading of “All The Things You Are,” Perla maintains a straightahead walking line, sticking reasonably close to the roots. As Pepper pushes the harmonic boundaries, Perla doesn’t merely follow, but prods, playing extensions that propel the saxo-phonist into evermore inventive extrapo-lations. But when they launch into an up-tempo run through “I’ll Remember April,” Perla seems to intuit where Pepper wants to stretch, and where he wants a more straightforward grounding.
Just as crucial, but in some ways more unsung, was drummer Terry Clarke, who manages to be almost imperceptible on the more balladic moments, but provided robust rhythmic support on uptempo num-bers without crowding Pepper out. Some of this has to do with Clarke’s uncanny sense of swing, but also reflects the way he listened to the rest of the group and tempered his dynamics, so that the drumming delivered maximum drive with minimal intrusion.
Toronto jazz DJ Ted O’Reilly recorded this show for broadcast on CJRT-FM, the predecessor of the city’s current JAZZ-FM. Mono air-check recordings of some perfor-mances previously have been bootlegged, but Laurie Pepper’s lovingly restored set not only provides a stereo mix, but aug-ments O’Reilly’s takes with her own stereo cassette recordings. It’s not quite the same as having been there, but is close enough to give the average listener the sense of being on a wave that’s just about to break. DB

When young, as a starring soloist, Art had toured the country with Stan Kenton's big bands. Later, multiple incarcerations for drug use and subsequent paroles limited his movements: When he was working he could only work at home in California. And part of Art, the part that was not self-destructive, was profoundly competitive and ambitious. Here was his first tour as a leader, and he knew this was his moment. With soul ablaze, with his defiant wit, and with the musical mastery he'd honed throughout his reckless life, Pepper took his first step onto the world stage at Toronto's Bourbon Street nightclub on June 16, 1977 (just weeks before his legendary Village Vanguard session). The audio is quite good thanks, once again to Wayne Peet's mastering.
This is the tenth in the Unreleased Art Pepper series, and in honor of that, Laurie Pepper offers us (in a 32 page full color booklet—filled with the usual gossip, opinions, and flights of musically inspired fancy) a backstage pass: "How to Turn a 40-Year-Old Cassette Tape into a Valuable Collector's Item. She shows us why and how "in this age of off-brand-indie-DIY" she manages to keep finding and releasing this great music. She says, "My jewel boxes hold real jewels."



to write a review

Jack Stafford

Art Pepper - Vol. 10 Toronto
This is some of the finest alto sax jazz playing that a jazz fan could hear in the world
and all points beyond..
Thank you so Laurie Pepper for putting this together.