Art Pepper (1925-1982) started playing alto sax when he was 17 years old with Benny Carter, then with Stan Kenton’s band until he was drafted in 1943. When he returned from the war, he joined the Kenton Innovations Orchestra. By the 1950’s, he was considered second only to Charlie Parker in the Down Beat poll on alto sax. Serving several stretches in prison for offenses related to his heroin addiction, he maintained a high quality of musicianship, and in the late 1960’s spent time in Synanon for his addiction. In the 1970’s, he recorded a number of albums (mostly for Fantasy Records) and wrote his life story, Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper, with his wife Laurie. It was published in 1979 and is considered one of the best musician’s biographies. He died of a stroke in Los Angeles in 1982. He’s associated with the “West Coast Jazz” movement along with Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, and Shelly Manne. His playing style, however, was most influenced by East Coast musicians such as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.
Our first selection is “The Prisoner,” love theme from the 1978 movie The Eyes Of Laura Mars. It’s from the 1982 album Winter Moon and features Stanley Cowell on piano, Howard Roberts on guitar, Cecil McBee on bass, Carl Burnett on drums, and a string section led by Nate Rubin.
Our second tune is “Tin Tin Deo,” from the 1957 album Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section. He’s accompanied by Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums.
Art Pepper, your Two for Tuesday, September 16, 2014.