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With all the good stuff on Youtube, I was really surprised with this one.
Art Pepper videos are very rare. A very young looking, hard blowing Art.
Nice contrast compared to the session with the Rhythm section(Red Garland,Philly Jo Jones and Paul Chambers).

Thanks

DenisJ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koNqHz4-WG8
 

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He is VERY hard blowing in the RHYTHM SECTION recording.

He just plays more "out" in this youtube video.
 

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Is it just me, or is Pepper's playing actually pretty dreadful on that clip? I usually really enjoy Pepper's playing--even the occasional foray outside--but that seems to start bad and just get worse. He looks and sounds sick?

Rory

ps. thanks very much for the post though.
 

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This was a weird time for Art Pepper, it was 1964 and he had just come out from a long stretch in San Quentin prison for drugs related offences. He had gone in just after making some great recordings. He was worried about his "old" style, so he was listening heavily to Coltrane while inside. He also changed his tone, IMHO overblowing here, and losing his "pretty" sound.

This is an extract from the Ralph Gleason show, I have the full show on DVD. There is also an interview which kinds of skirts aroud Art's recent past, typical of the time.

Some of the tunes he writes around this time, like "The Trip" are recorded later (1976) with his old tone back, and are very good. On the DVD he finishes off with a great hard driving blues.

An interesting clip, he is playing with Frank Strazzeri on piano, Hersh Hamel on Bass and Bill Goodwin on Drums

Thanks for posting this link, very interesting, but not typical Pepper by any means!

Look out for "Notes from a Jazz Survivor" made shortly before he died, available on DVD, this shows him playing with great tone and power, at his best I would say.
 

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rleitch said:
Is it just me, or is Pepper's playing actually pretty dreadful on that clip? I usually really enjoy Pepper's playing--even the occasional foray outside--but that seems to start bad and just get worse. He looks and sounds sick?

Rory

ps. thanks very much for the post though.
No it is not just you Rory, I am not keen too, and I am a big fan. He had huge domestic problems at the time as well, even his wife complained about his bad tone.......... ouch!
 

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Everyone will have his or her opinion of course. . . .

I find this clip VERY interesting. It's not "perfect," of course, and in a way that's part of the point. Pepper early on was extraordinarily adept both in terms of technique and of tone, and this is part of what makes early Pepper so appealing. Though I have enormous respect and appreciation for that part of AP's output, I'm one of those who is more interested in the later work. This appears to be a transitional moment for him; I've never heard him play so totally in the Trane mode. Later he seems to balance the "beautiful" with the "anti-beautiful," when he's really on, in a more complete way. Here he seems determined to deal with the broken tone, the scream, the multiphonic, that comes to constitute his "other" voice. Regardless of whether this is my "favorite" Art Pepper moment, I find it fascinating, and I'd say he's doing exactly what he wants to do -- he doesn't seem at all out of control or under the weather to me. One may (or may not) question his decisions, but he seems the master of his material here.

AND: it's utterly amazing that this was on television! God bless old Gleason. How many other programs would give an Art Pepper 10 minutes straight and just let him go? Incredible that this exists at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks crazydaisydoo. I was really in the dark about the sidemen.
Also about the date for this session. You're right he was in awe of Coltrane.
I for myself much prefer his "old" style of playing ;)

Thanks

DenisJ
 

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Yeah, Matthew, thanks for all the details.

I've never seen that before and it's a wonderful find for me. I didn't know as many specifics as you've posted but I guessed it was the period when he just came out of prison with a strong Coltrane influence. I wasn't aware of any recordings of him from that period so I'm really happy with this find. I've always wondered what he sounded like then.

Regarding his playing in and of itself, I've always thought that in Art's later recordings often when he played those fast, "new thing" flurries that his note choice wasn't in the context or style of what he was playing. But what the hey. He plays good even when he plays bad, LOL.
 

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DenisJ said:
With all the good stuff on Youtube, I was really surprised with this one.Art Pepper videos are very rare. A very young looking, hard blowing Art.
Nice contrast compared to the session with the Rhythm section(Red Garland,Philly Jo Jones and Paul Chambers).

Thanks

DenisJ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koNqHz4-WG8
THANKS FOR THAT.

Everyone has their favorite period Art Pepper ( or Newk or what have you ) but to me I'm hearing what's happening and not what isn't.
The music is moving ahead....

I dug how he was approaching his music with a modern intelligence that demands fresh thinking via ROOTS and thematic continuity. Arts sheer talent and smart phrase choices , crying tonal timbre and unforced articulation gets to the point so totally that you can hear he's playing and inhabiting the music like the master genius he is.

As well- Art’s keen intelligence and creative forward thinking assurance have remained consistent, progressively building presence. To me this time period of Art Pepper shows amazing evidence of the diligent dedication to his art and commitment musically. Arts edge and depth are very stunning. What a beautiful rhythmic feel to....Kinda Trane-ish but not really.He's searching, and that is something I admire in a player to have the respect for his own art to forge ahead. It's a study in saxophone playing in itself.

This music contains a story- you can hear Art's life-battles and
blood-and-guts machismo that kept him playing music for the decades he was on this earth. He means every note he plays. talk about " moan in the tone" ...WHEW~

Plus..the legendary drummer Bill Goodwin is there going right out into the cosmos with Art!! BEAUTIFUL DRUMMER...I always dug Bill. And, the pianist is Frank Strazerri...I never heard him play quite like this. I'd love to find more- I always liked his playing, especially the 4th voicings he's laying down for Art and the open-ended modal-ish feel. NICE!

ALL IN ALL- Art Pepper was a searcher and a traveler of all things creative.
I'm glad I got to hear him live as many times as I did- this video is a nice momento of a genius at work.
 

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gary said:
I've never seen that before and it's a wonderful find for me. I did'nt know as many specifics as you've posted but I guessed it was the period when he just came out of prison with a strong Coltrane influence. I wasn't aware of any recordings of him from that period so I'm really happy with this find. I've always wondered what he sounded like then.
There's the 'live at donte's' (from 1968): it's a 2 cd set. It's with Joe Romano (ts), Frank Strazzeri (p), Chuck Berghofer (b) and Nick Ceroli (dr).
 

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gary said:
Regarding his playing in and of itself, I've always thought that in Art's later recordings often when he played those fast, "new thing" flurries that his note choice wasn't in the context or style of what he was playing. But what the hey. He plays good even when he plays bad, LOL.
I am not so keen on the "flurries" either, they are just random notes played quickly, and as we know, it is pretty easy to do. It seemed to please the crowds though. These flurries seem to creep in on long blues and even some ballads. The rest of his playing in his later period '75 to '82 is peerless.

I think Art is fairly unique in that he never made a bad record, I have a fair proportion of them, and they are all good. You are right, this is the only recording of him made between 1961 (Teddy Edwards Septet) and 1968, when he played with Buddy Rich, then there was another 5 years before recorded again in 1973 with the Mike Vax Big Band, then another 2 years before his "proper" comeback. That is a total of 14 lost years.........unrecorded. A huge loss to jazz, from a man who made over 100 recordings throughout the rest of his career, from 1943 till his death in 1982.

Interestingly Art himself has written that the bad reaction to this "new sound", as highlighted on this youtube clip, caused him to start abusing again.......He was a very sensitive/vulnerable/narcissistic (delete to suit) person. The great musician, and Art's friend, Shelly Manne also thought that Art had lost his way musically at this time, that he wasn't being true to himself...Mind you Shelly Manne was not exactly an innovator at that time, IMHO.

You can also buy a CD of this whole performance pretty cheaply here:

http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/6937779/a/Complete+TV+Studio+Recordings.htm

Edited due to incorrect dates as per Ramberts post below!
 

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crazydaisydoo said:
I think Art is fairly unique in that he never made a bad record, I have a fair proportion of them, and they are all good. You are right, this is the only recording of him made between 1961 (Teddy Edwards Septet) and 1968, when he played with Buddy Rich, then there was another 5 years before recorded again in 1973 with the Mike Vax Big Band, then another 2 years before his "proper" comeback. That is a total of 14 lost years.........unrecorded. An huge loss to jazz, from a man who made over 100 recordings throughout the rest of his career, from 1943 till his death in 1979.
There would have been a bunch less if Art would have passed away in 1979;)
He died in june 1982. His very last concert (on the Kool Jazz Festival in Washington DC on May 30. 1982) was officially released a few months ago by his widow Laurie Pepper. It's very good and available via www.cdbaby.com
 

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Hey! Too right, blame the discography in my old copy of "Straight Life" which I have on my lap, written in '79. Sadly I also have the new version of this book with an updated discography. Tired and confused......sorry

In my defence I did physically count all of the recordings up to then, so I must get marks for effort.

To think, I was just listening to 1982's Tete a Tete, one of my favourites. Doh! My Dad saw him in the late 70's at Ronnie Scotts. I have the excuse of only being 10 and more interested in punk........it was a phase
 

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Interesting. I'm a big fan of Art's earlier stuff too. I liked this in a way but honestly I don't think I could listen to a lot of it. To me it sounds like he'd been listening to a lot of Coltrane but somehow had taken that general approach to a place that is rather abrasive and lacking in melody and (there's no other word!) beauty. It's almost as if he was deliberately trying to efface his own reputation as a "pretty" player and substitute something harsh and confronational. I'm saying all this as a big fan of some free jazz. As I said first, though, it's interesting to see and hear. Thank you.
 

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I like that clip-he always wore his heart on his sleeve and drove every note home like his life depended on it.

Talking of much later Art Pepper, I love 'The Trip', 'Artworks' and all the albums with George Cables. I think that period showed Art playing with such passion and I actually love the way he played 'flurries', essentially wiggling his fingers around. Check out him playing 'The Ballad of the sad young men' recorded live at Ronnie Scott's. It's one of the most tear jerking songs you can imagine.

What I love about the late period was the way he could, like Dexter, Griffin and others, play extended ballads like they were huge stories. He often used to blow for ages on a 2 chord vamp as a long introduction to ballads-very few players did that. When the harmony changed to bring in the head, it was like a beautiful sunrise.

Jamie O'D
 

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I think he did his very best work in the final few years of his life. His tone only improved as he got older.
He plays a magnificent version of Body and Soul in a concert done in Japan in Abashiri on November 22. 1981. That cd too is available through cdbaby.

If you like Art Pepper, you 'should' buy these. Laurie is publishing them on a shoestring budget through her own tiny label. So far she has been able to publish this Abashire concert and the one from the Kool Jazz Festival I mentioned above.

And no, I'm not affiliated (am I spelling this correctly?) in any way to cdbaby or the Art Pepper Music Corperation :D
 

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jamiejazz said:
Check out him playing 'The Ballad of the sad young men' recorded live at Ronnie Scott's. It's one of the most tear jerking songs you can imagine.

What I love about the late period was the way he could, like Dexter, Griffin and others, play extended ballads like they were huge stories. He often used to blow for ages on a 2 chord vamp as a long introduction to ballads-very few players did that. When the harmony changed to bring in the head, it was like a beautiful sunrise.
Yes, I'm also crazy about the way Art Pepper did the ballads on his later work.
But I don't know the 'ballad of the sad young men' you mention and I just checked both my LP's and the CD of that Ronnie Scott's recording. I know he did a ten day run at Ronnie Scott's, so have they perhaps published some new material?
 

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RootyTootoot said:
Interesting. I'm a big fan of Art's earlier stuff too. I liked this in a way but honestly I don't think I could listen to a lot of it. To me it sounds like he'd been listening to a lot of Coltrane but somehow had taken that general approach to a place that is rather abrasive and lacking in melody and (there's no other word!) beauty. It's almost as if he was deliberately trying to efface his own reputation as a "pretty" player and substitute something harsh and confronational. I'm saying all this as a big fan of some free jazz. As I said first, though, it's interesting to see and hear. Thank you.
I would argue that it's not about "efffacing his own reputation" as much as it is about extending the harmonic possibilities of his tone and thus extending his reach as a player. Later on he absorbs the manner he displays here (in which, yes, he is working his way through certain interesting problems raised by Coltrane -- and surely he does this more knowingly and more thoroughly than just about any other alto player of his generation who was not directly associated with Coltrane) and re-mixes it, so to speak, with his "prettier" tone, but now the pries the tone open at will, in the middle of a "beautiful" passage, and reveals something darker underneath.* This clip captures a transitional moment, I think -- and in that way it's a bit like eavesdropping on a Pepper "shedding" session.

*For an excellent example of what I mean, check out "Las Cuevas de Mario" on "Friday Night at the Village Vanguard" -- it's a wonderful composition, too, in 5/4.
 
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