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Art Pepper

Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper on Tampa TP 28

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Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper on Tampa TP 28

This was Art Pepper's personal copy...

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!

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The Art Pepper Quartet on Tampa RS-1001

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The Art Pepper Quartet on Tampa RS-1001

One of the rarer Pepper titles.

This is a very rare Art Pepper album. I've seen it only a handful of times for sale during my time collecting jazz vinyl. All the early Pepper albums on the smaller labels are rare, but this one is probably one of the rarest, especially when it comes complete with the two music sheets. I dig that concept, as with Transition LP's with the booklets. And for me, the package is only complete with those little bonus pralines. I would actually hesitate to buy this album without the music sheets, and would wait for a copy with those included. I won't ever use them for practising my alto chops, but as the hardcore 1st pressing fundamentalist that I am I have to have those included, the same with the Transition booklets. It's pretty crazy isn't it? But how wonderfully crazy it is.

My copy of this record has a pretty beat up jacket, but almost all Tampa jackets of this particular title seems to have splits and so on. I don't mind, because the vinyl is pristine and it comes with the rare music sheets as mentioned. To me, it seems very difficult to find this title complete with music sheets. I know I've seen it a couple of times only. Can any of you guys recall seeing it more than a couple of times? It's a superb session as with all the early Art Pepper albums. He is, as I've probably mentioned before one of my most beloved jazz musicians. I now have almost all of his early titles that interest me the most. A couple are missing, but I'm on the case.

I highly recommend this LP. The music is beautifully executed. Art Pepper just seems to breeze through the tunes as he delivers one beautiful note after the other. He's such a natural player. Everything sounds so easy and pleasant when he plays. He can improvise with astonishing technical brilliance and lyricism from the first second to the end of time. All the tunes are a pleasure to listen and relax to. If you haven't got around to this album yet, don't linger. Try and seek it out as soon as possible. Don't miss this gem.

The current collecting status is as follows; I've been trying to get my hands on a particular Prestige title that is one of my favorites, a superb album. I bought a copy, but it didn't quite measure up to my high standards. It's in ok condition, but for what I paid for it, it didn't meet expectations. But I have just now, today, about an hour ago bought another copy, which should be in great condition. Can't wait for it to land on my doorstep. I will post that, if I'm happy with the condition, as soon as I can. I will also try and get my hands on one more collectible before the year is over. Stay tuned for those updates. Now, go and put some Art Pepper on the turntable. Have a great rest of the weekend. Cheers!

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An evening with Art

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An evening with Art

A special album by a special artist.

Friday evening, at last. Sitting here and listening to side 2 of Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section on Contemporary. What an album. One of my absolute favorites and in my top 5 jazz albums of all time. A nice album to relax with after a long working week. Aiming to post another collectible this weekend, stay tuned. Enjoy your evening folks.

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The Return Of Art Pepper on Jazz:West (JWLP-10)

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The Return Of Art Pepper on Jazz:West (JWLP-10)

Art Pepper on Jazz:West, a nice addition to any collection.

This is a true gem. One of the best of the Art Pepper albums. A smooth, laid back west coast jazz album with lots of nice tunes. If you dig Art Pepper and his superb, cool approach to jazz, this is a must. The album bolsters a superb line-up with Pepper on alto sax, Jack Sheldon, whom I dig a lot, on trumpet, the wonderful Russ Freeman on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on the double bass and the superb Shelley Manne on drums. The very best of West coast jazz musicians, don't you agree? All the tunes are great, creating a nice mood and sound together, when you listen through the whole album. Almost all of them are Pepper originals. The favorite is perhaps "Minority".

This is of course an original 1st pressing. It's quite desirable among collectors I believe. I'm happy to own a copy. These early Art Pepper albums are quite hard to get hold of. So if you find a copy, in almost any shape, try and get it. I have been on the hunt for the Pepper albums on Jazz:West, Tampa, Intro and so on for quite a long time and I've managed to find some of them and I'm very happy about that. They very seldom surface. Art Pepper is one of my absolute favorites, so I will try and get them all.

Summer vacation is almost here, looking forward to that. I have some nice newcomers coming after that. So stay tuned for those. I will continue to post nice stuff that I have in the collection in the mean time. Cheers and have a nice rest of the weekend!

 

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Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section on Contemporary C3532

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Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section on Contemporary C3532

One of my favorite albums, a masterpiece.

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...

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Art Pepper's "Modern Art" on Intro ILP 606

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Art Pepper's "Modern Art" on Intro ILP 606

"Modern Art"... one of Pepper's best albums.

Art Pepper, one of my favorite jazz artists. My favorite alto sax player after Bird. Bird is of course in a class of his own to begin with. Art Pepper's style is very lyrical I think. He has a special sound and tone that I really like and he plays with a lot of feeling. He has recorded some very nice stuff. Some of his albums though, are recorded, I believe, on not that great equipment. Or maybe it is also the recording engineers fault, or maybe the inferior vinyl that some labels used for their records. I'm talking about the Intro, Jazz:West, Discovery and Tampa labels. Those recordings, those pressings seems to be of lesser quality in a lot of ways compared to, for example Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside or Contemporary.

Anyone who has the same thoughts , or different for that matter, about this topic?

Anyway, this record is very rare in any condition. My copy is nice, but the cover has some stains and is a bit worn. The tunes are good with my favorites being the ballad "Bewitched", the two alto sax/double bass pieces "Blues In" and "Blues Out" and "What Is This Thing Called Love". The musicians backing up Pepper on this are Russ Freeman on piano, Chuck Flores on drums and Ben Tucker on double bass. Russ Freeman I know very well, he's awesome, but the other two cats I haven't heard that much apart from on this record. They are very competent, and I'd like to explore their other work as well.

This is Art Pepper at his best. If you dig Art Pepper, then this LP is a must. An original is quite hard to get, but as always, I recommend trying to find one. In any condition. I have some other original Pepper LP's which I'm going to post here, and I intend to get all the nice stuff he has recorded.

I hope you enjoy the post and the images, and stay tuned for more jazz rarities.

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"Playboys" by The Chet Baker & Art Pepper Sextet PJ-1234

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"Playboys" by The Chet Baker & Art Pepper Sextet PJ-1234

"Playboys" indeed...

Two of my absolute favorite jazz artists of all time together here on this wonderful album from 1956. Chet Baker, the artist I have the most records of, but I still need to get me some of the early ones on Pacific Jazz, for example. Chet is my first love when it comes to jazz trumpet. I love his style, both the early, more cleaner, brilliant sound as well as the later, drug-hazed, false teeth sound. Art Pepper, my favorite alto saxophonist after Bird also graces this recording. He and Chet has to be on my top 5 all time jazz artists list. I'm trying to collect all the early Pepper material also, and I have some of the good stuff in my collection now, but I'm still missing a couple of albums.

This LP is fantastic, with lots of nice tunes. Favorite pick on this is, without a doubt "Minor-Yours". A superb original composition by Art Pepper. Great, swinging cool jazz that makes you wanna move around a bit. This copy I have is in very nice, clean condition. With a NM-, or thereabouts, jacket and a M- record. This is among Chet Baker's and Art Pepper's greatest work I think.

I love west coast/cool jazz and the labels of the era that released that music, such as Pacific Jazz/World Pacific Records, Jazz:West and so on. If you don't have this particular album, I suggest you look it up, and that you try and find a decent original copy. Great stuff.

More nice records coming up, stay tuned. Feel free to comment and offer your own opinion on this LP or any other post on the site, cheers!

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