Art Pepper is special to me. I adore his playing and the early albums he made. This one is one of the best, if not THE best. Perhaps the best jazz album of all time, for me. Recorded in 1957. All tunes are equally superb. The sound is wonderful, perhaps the best sounding record I have. The mix is stunning. The details are great, with the drums especially sweet. The cover art is pure bliss. The picture is supposedly taken between Ewing Street and Fargo Street in Los Angeles where Art lived at the time. William Claxton took the photo of Art in a small grove of trees that bordered Fargo Street. The photos he took would be selected for use for the front cover of this album and the cover art of The Return Of Art Pepper on Jazz:West 10 as well.
The group assembled for this album is of course superb, with Art joined by Miles Davis rhythm section consisting of Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on double bass and Philly Joe Jones on the drums. Couldn't ask for more, right? All four musicians are on top of their game on this album, although Pepper, I guess was not feeling 100%. Great performance and a milestone in Art Pepper's career.
The copy I have has a superb vinyl and the cover, while a tiny bit worn is still in great shape. The cover is the 1st art cover with the blue heading and the pink line around the tunes on the back slick. It also has the frame on the bottom of the front. I'm really happy with my copy and it should be on the shelf of every jazz vinyl collector.
We'll see if I could get my hands on a new piece before the summer vacation. If so, I'll put it up here on the site first thing. It's a piece I've been wanting a nice copy of for quite a while. Exciting.
Stay tuned for more jazz vinyl candy...