Of all the rare records I have in my collection, this is for me probably the rarest and most beloved. This is because it belonged to Art Pepper. It was his personal copy, which the guy I bought it from acquired from his widow Laurie Pepper. To think that Art held this record in his hands and maybe put it on the turntable... now that's pretty cool isn't it? Just a cool as the music on this wonderful album, which is chock full of smooth cool jazz, played to perfection by one of the masters of that kind of music, Art Pepper. The whole album is just so free flowing, smooth and cool. It's a very rare piece, even the copys not from Art's collection of course. It should be considered a holy grail if you will. My original 1st pressing is in great condition, or just about as good as it gets with a red vinyl Tampa. This title should have the red vinyl to be a first pressing, and it just looks so great in that red color. The cover design is a bit special as well. I dig it. The problem with these original Tampa covers is that they are very fragile. Very difficult to find in top condition.
This is one of those records that I've been looking, and looking and looking for. It's not easy to find. But the satisfaction to finally have secured it is nothing short of magical. Besides the rarity it's such a great album all the way through. One of my favorite albums. Readers that have been following me for a while have most certainly picked up that I love Art Pepper and that he is one of my favorite jazz musicians. This LP almost makes my Art Pepper collection complete. There's just one 10" on Discovery that's missing. I don't need more than these early albums. Maybe I will try and find a few more though. A few on Contemporary that I haven't got as well, we'll see. But I'm quite satisfied with what I have now. I think I've got his best work.
I feel there's no point really to pick favorite tunes from this album, they are all top notch. Just put it on the turntable and sit back and enjoy the album back to back. You'll feel relaxed, refreshed and happy when it's finished. A great album to listen to on a lazy Sunday afternoon like this. The wife and kids are baking a cake together downstairs and I'm upstairs enjoying some jazz.
If you're unfamiliar with this record, for your own sake, look it up. You won't be disappointed. It's beautiful west coast jazz that you don't wanna miss. It should be in every jazz lovers' collection.
Lately I've been getting more and more into Bill Evans and his trio work. I already have "Portrait in Jazz" on Riverside but I will try and get some other of his albums on Riverside as well. Like "Waltz for Debby", "Sunday at the Village Vanguard", "Explorations", "How my Heart Sings!", "Everybody Digs..." and "New Jazz Conceptions". It's absolutely superb music. The trio with LaFaro and Motian is maybe the greatest jazz group ever. LaFaro is so damn amazing and inventive on the double bass. I also enjoy the later bassists in Evans' trio groups like Chuck Israels and Eddie Gomez. Hearing these cats play, I feel that I almost have to reevaluate my opinion on which instrument my favorite in jazz is. Shifting a bit from trumpet being my favorite to lifting up the double bass to top spot. I have some leads on buying a couple of these Evans albums soon, so let's hope it works out. Stay tuned for that.
Have a great rest of the weekend and please leave a comment if you want. Cheers!