Every month

Every month I'll post a new "taste" of Art Pepper's music as a FREE DOWNLOAD. These tastes are given away because they are "unreleasable" by virtue of the recording being cut off at beginning or end or by brief audio problems that occurred in the recording process.


I'll also post occasional journal entries including updates on new releases.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Donors, Keep Your Eyes Peeled!

Yes, all the downloads are free, and I'm glad more and more people are listening to the music, and I do understand that many people can't (or don't want to) deal with paypal. But for those who've gone to the trouble of donating to Widow's Taste Records in response to the freebies, there will be a special gift for you at the very very end of this year to say thanks for your generosity. Meanwhile, greetings of the season and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

FREE MUSIC: (Jazz) History is Made in NY

Art with Buffet alto sax, 1975

A couple of weeks before Art's famous 1977 Vanguard performance and recording session with George Cables, George Mraz, and Elvin Jones, Art played at the Vanguard in June with Onaje Allen Gumbs, Gene Perla, and Joe LaBarbara.  It was this event that inspired John Snyder (who sponsored this trip, Art's first East Coast Tour) to inspire Les Koenig of Contemporary Records to record the subsequent date set up by John and Les in July.

A fan sent me two discs of a live recording he made on the first night of the earlier date.  I have no idea who sent them.  If you are he/she and are following this blog, please get in touch so I can say thank you.  (and do you have any more?)

Meanwhile, even though Wayne Peet, who does my editing and mastering, is a miracle worker, there's no hope for fixing the sound on these tracks which are musically soooooo sweet.  Art was so happy and excited to be in New York at the Village Vanguard, and this, though an unfamiliar band, is such a swinging one.  So here's one track. They are ALL great, and I may post the rest of them singly or as a downloadable album.  Though I was tempted to post one of the sad-and-beautiful ballads they played, I figure, since it's the Christmas season, let's be merry-since the alternative is to be suicidal.
This is the first track played on the first night of the gig.
The audio quality gets better as the track continues.
It's yours to download and keep.  It's free.
Just enter zero in the payment box (though you can always donate)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Very Cool: The Art Pepper Legacy Quartet in Italy

George Cables, Bob Magnusson, Carl Burnett.  Gaspare Pasini on alto, playing Blues for Blanche, Ophelia, The Trip, Valse Triste, My Friend John, Patricia.  And a piece written especially for Art by Phil Woods, "Au Revoir M. Poivre" (last piece on this very very very long stream.)

Great hearing the charts again, especially by Art's band, and Pasini does well!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

MUSIC FREE: My Excuse is...

...that this is one of my top ten favorites of Art's live performances (you can hear me shrieking at the end). The track has been released before, but I won't go into details for all kinds of reasons. It's free. I love you guys. Look for something brand new in December. Promise.

Just Enter zero in the price box.  Of course, you can always donate to the cause.


(If you'll  look over to your right, you'll see a poll entitled: For 2013 release.  I had to close the poll after 14 votes since blogger doesn't seem to have a way for me to view results of ongoing voting!!!!)

    I'm installing another (3rd party) poll (below).  If you've voted before, no need to do it again. I've got your responses now.
    I'm thinking of releasing a DVD which will include some Art Pepper live performances.  The audio quality might not be as good as some of my better releases (Croydon, Stuttgart, Ronnie's) but I'll get Wayne Peet to do the best he can with it, and you'll get to see a great live performance of at least ten tunes.
     Also, it's going to be more expensive than the usual release.  I still haven't reckoned up the costs of manufacture and distribution.  So I don't know whether it'll be worth it to any of us to do it.  It's bound to cost AT LEAST half again what I've been charging.
     So What I'd like to know is how much do you want to SEE previously unreleased and mostly unseen Art Pepper LIVE.

Please vote while I do all my research.


Monday, October 8, 2012

MUSIC FREE: For Your Ears (and Eyes if you're a musician) Alternate take from Artists House Session: Pepper, Cables, Haden, Higgins

Free Music Download
Hit "download" and enter a zero in the payment box
(Of course you can always support ongoing releases by donating something)
First Draft of Art Pepper's "My Friend John" 
John Snyder, Billy Higgins, Charlie Haden, Art Pepper, George Cables

With Rocco's help, I've been scanning all Art's sheet music. I thought some musician fans might find this interesting. The Freebie today is an unreleased track from the Artists House date at Kendun Recorders in L.A. in '79 with Art, George Cables, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins. It was recorded by John Snyder, for whom this song was written in 1977. John sponsored Art's first ever East Coast tour which wound up at the Village Vanguard, and Art wrote the tune for this date. I'm including 4 pages of music: The original ms, which Art scrawled during his cocaine nights sitting on bathroom floors of our hotel rooms in NY and Boston (read the book!). And the revised alto part. Art said that this chart and some others he wrote during that time were just too hard to play, so he rewrote them.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012


It's unavailable unless you're prepared to pay for and download the entire Galaxy Box Set on iTunes (see below). I think it's a good deal for $59.00, but you may not have $59.

To download just this track for free, just click "download" and enter 0 in the price box. (You can always donate if you wanna.)

This is a track from the album entitled Art Lives. It was released by Fantasy after Art's death and was one of three albums culled from three nights of spectacular music performed during August, 1981 by the Art Pepper Quartet (George Cables, David Williams, Carl Burnett) at a club called The Maiden Voyage in L.A.

I've been discussing with the folks at Concord the possibility of me (Widow's Taste) licensing from them the Art Pepper tracks recorded by Galaxy but not available at all as cds or quality downloads.

Fantasy/Galaxy was a modest company with a giant jazz catalog. Concord, who purchased that label, is a big company with a newer and more popular catalog of newer artists and a much smaller jazz catalog.   It's not profitable for Concord to make a lot of jazz titles available in any format. So there are a lot of Art Pepper titles and (other jazz artists' titles) which, in Concord's view, simply won't sell enough to satisfy their stockholders.

At any rate, if you have $59 to buy that Galaxy Art Pepper Box (as download only) from iTunes, by all means DO IT! You will get a magnificent collection: The urgent, creative, brilliant music Art Pepper made during his last years--16 discs worth. (I'm also negotiating with Concord to scan and offer as a PDF the terrific booklet originally enclosed in the box: with liner notes by Gary Giddins; elaborate and complete details of the sessions by producer Ed Michel; and lovely photos by yours truly.)

While we're waiting, here's one of my favorites, so I think it's a crime it's not available: "Thank You Blues" from the Art Lives session in 1981. It's free.


Saturday, September 1, 2012


Freebie for Art Pepper's Birthday. Download in ANY format. Happy Day! This record company hasn't paid me any royalties since Joe Fields sold it. I'll be giving this BEAUTIFUL music away from time to time. But you can pay a few pennies if you wanna. L.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Stop the Presses!
Something New!
Soon all titles will be available as HIGH QUALITY DOWNLOADS HERE:
Art Pepper in Osaka (Vol. VII) with George Cables

Art Pepper:  Unreleased Art Volume VII

The latest in the series of Unreleased Art

(If you want to skip the commercial and go straight to CD Baby & buy this

TWO-DISC set, my feelings will not be hurt.  You can read it later

GO to CD Baby

album cover and discs


August 28, 2012

Like Art Pepper in Osaka (Vol. VII) with George Cables on Facebook share on Twitter

 No music this time, but hit the link to CD Baby and listen to samples of the tracks.

Here are snippets from pre-release reviews of Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. VII and below are some of the photos from the 32 page booklet.

We have yet another scrumptious edition to the Widow's Taste series. Whatever his personal problems or character flaws they didn't negate the fact that the man was one helluva musician. In the jargon of the streets, Art Pepper was bad... After a contrapuntal beginning [on Cherokee] between Art and Cables over an upright ostinato and Afro-Cuban flavored traps the alto and piano take burning rides before sharing fours and the head. As much as I loved to hear Pepper pour on the pots, he had a way with a ballad that was uniquely his own and could turn one's spine to jelly. There was a yearning in his playing that was only equaled by Miles Davis in his Harmon muted musings at slower tempos. [Over the Rainbow] is the tour-de-force on platter one and his long solo sax introduction is worth the price of the package alone.

As with previous volumes, this is a top-shelf presentation with attractive graphics and a thick booklet with chatty (and informative) annotation from the female “road daddy” herself. Judging from some of his occasional altissimo forays Art Pepper had a good reed that night and we're all the better for it. Lucky seven indeed. -- Cadence: Larry Hollis

Considering that the record was culled from a cassette recording from an unknown audience member, the sound quality is quite good. Everyone in the band is heard, although at times I would have liked to have heard Cables a little better. The polite crowd didn’t create any noise that interfered with the performance, and Pepper’s saxophone is clearly heard projecting into the audience. Under the circumstances and benefiting from Wayne Peet’s mastering job, this is not bad at all.   "Cherokee" is slower than its normal torrid pace, but it’s just slow enough to allow Pepper to add accents to his notes, making his solo perhaps more impressive than a straight blizzard of notes. Dumas has a great handle on this song, nimbly piloting his serpentine walking lines. Later on, Pepper is trading fours at first with Cables before bringing the song to a rousing conclusion. His original “Straight Life,” incidentally, is played more like other bands perform “Cherokee,” galloping like a horse at the Preakness, and Pepper has shown no let up in his ability to burn through impossible lines.  Pepper led the band through the title song of the as-yet unreleased Winter Moon album he had recorded just a couple of months earlier. His articulations on the Hoagy Carmichael song aren’t the concise, note-perfect performance he gave in the studio, but it carries more passion. Pepper wasn’t going to end the set on a ballad, and he saved a blazing run through “Donna Lee” for last, highlighted by Burnett’s lively drums.

Laurie Pepper included a meaty booklet into the jewel case of this double disc set, full of candid snapshots she took of that tour and her equally candid personal thoughts and recollections from that time, a time she described as a happy one for her husband. But you probably don’t need to see the dozens of pictures of him grinning to know he was happy; the music performed the night of November 18, 1980 in Osaka, Japan affirm his contented state of mind.  -- Something Else Reviews:  S. Victor Aaron

Copyright © 2012 Arthur Pepper Music Corporation/ Widow's Taste Records, All rights reserved.
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Friday, July 20, 2012


What a spectacular day! Went with Cheryl Pawelski and her dear dear Audrey (Bilger) to meet with legendary Ron McMaster at Capitol Records to watch Ron make the final master for Omnivore's Art Pepper set of 3 LPs, NEON ART -- which will be released on the same day as Unreleased Art Pepper Volume VII from Widow's Taste.  You can hear a little bit of it below.

Ron told me that he had created the Art Pepper Blue Note LP masters a long long time ago.

 I SAW this building going up when I was in my teens back in the early fifties, and I've been inside on business but never really inside like today. Maybe the record business isn't dead after all? It's just been waiting for vinyl to come back? No, no, don't worry fans, I'll keep on making CDs. But wow, what a day!

Me, Ron, Cheryl in the studio

My original tapes were first remastered by Wayne Peet, and then mastered for vinyl by Ron. They sound AMAZING.
And HERE'S the lacquer being cut (and a little taste of the music)...

and finally, Ron inscribed the master (and this will be right there on every copy of Volume Three).  I told Ron to carve out the phrase Art liked to write when he was asked to signed our book, Straight Life.  He wrote, "Keep Swingin'"

Audrey, me, and Ron inscribing....

Monday, July 16, 2012

Journal: Mercury's Retrograde and So Am I

Everything that can go wrong has been going wrong with the publication and pressing of the latest album.  

I'm a week behind schedule but I gave myself a LOT of wiggle room this time, so little holdups aren't devastating, just really really annoying.

Meanwhile been working with the ingenious Terri Hinte on the press release to (which she'll publish and I'll publish here) announcing the release on August 28th of Vol VII of Unreleased Art (see previous) and of the first of 3 Art Pepper vinyl singles from Omnivore (entitled Neon Art) with nothing but totally mad, swinging, weeping, dancing tracks, to which I'm listening right now, and my mood is escalating even as I write this.  You're gonna want these tracks!  They work better than anti-depressants or anything else, really.  Here's the cover of disc One from Omnivore plus a pretty picture of me taken by my sweetie, Hugh.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

MUSIC: Mambo Koyama

Scroll down past the chatter to play (and download) the music

Some of you have asked for more glimpses of my memoir-in-progress. So I've added another bit about the buildup to the Village Vanguard date.  Look at the top of the sidebar for the Memoir.

   The latest release from Widow's Taste is due soon!  August 28th, to be exact.  It's a two disc set.  More details about it soon.  Here are pictures of the cover, front and back:

I've been digging through my old tracks more energetically than usual recently to find tracks for Omnivore who'll be releasing THREE Art Pepper vinyl singles in the next few months under the heading "Neon Art." (I'll keep you informed of all releases).
While I searched through a wonderful series of live recordings from our last tour of Japan in November, 1981, I found quite a few frustratingly incomplete and thus unusable tracks: The tape ran out or started too late or got eaten in the middle.

This is a track that made me tear my hair, because it is so great but started too late to use.  It's missing the melody statement and the piano solo (and it's George Cables in top form, and I'm really sorry!).

The music begins right before the Art Pepper solo.  There's a terrific bass solo by David Williams.  The drummer is Art's beloved stalwart Carl Burnett.   Named after Kiyoshi Koyama, once the editor of the once wonderful Swing JournalMAMBO KOYAMA was recorded in Okayama, Japan on November 14, 1981 (George Cables's birthday).

Here, in all its incomplete gorgeousness is:
To Download and keep it forever, Right-Click Right Here!

To DONATE: Click Here:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Music: Body and Soul: Just Because It's June, June, June!

Here's the latest taste from the widow's kitchen And with it a new policy, so you can download ALL the tracks I post from now on.

A bunch of tracks recorded at the soundboards of various venues in Japan in November of 1981 have been digitized by the indefatigable Rocco. Now that I can listen to them, I discover that they are seriously spectacular as is this track recorded at a town in Japan called Tottori. The band is Art, George Cables, David Williams, Carl Burnett.

I've put the track up here because it's incomplete (so I probably won't be releasing it; I know you guys and your tricks. Many of you know how to download it and keep it.) So now I'm making it easier for everyone to download. You can play it, just as is. And/Or you can click the link below the player (where it says "Right-Click Right Here")and download the track as an mp3 and put it in your iTunes or whatever. And it is free. And, you know, you could donate, too (below). Any amount.

Body and Soul, missing the intro and the first four bars.

To Download and keep it forever, Right-Click Right Here!
To DONATE: Click Here:

Monday, May 7, 2012


Time for another listen.  BELOW find an exceptionally relaxed and swinging version of Art's Y.I. Blues (also sometimes called Untitled #34).  It will be on my next release, "Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. VII, Osaka 1980."  Featuring George Cables, Tony Dumas, Carl Burnett. (pictured: George & Art in Japan).

I promise I will upload a free download soon, next month, in fact.

Meanwhile some &^%$#@ has released a bootleg version of my planned next release:  The Aforementioned Osaka '80 concert
My double cd will be cheaper, my liner notes more extensive and revealing, and there will be at least a dozen great photos, maybe more.  And of course the audio quality will be incomparably superior, thanks to the incomparable Wayne Peet.

My Widow's Taste release will be in August.  I don't want to rush it because I want it to be as perfect as I can make it.  So listen to this lovely (not-yet-remastered) track and please please wait for the rest.  P.S.  This set will include a gorgeous solo by George Cables and the only recorded live performance of Art playing "Winter Moon."

Monday, April 30, 2012

JOURNAL: Just a little taste of my life...

   Toooo busy.  I need to have a life and friends:  friends have been dying, getting sick, reminding me to live in the world while I'm here and not just live in work, and so....  Made the brilliant decision (sorry fans!) to postpone the release of the two disc set (Osaka, November 1980: George Cables, Tony Dumas, Carl Burnett) until end of October 2012.
   I'm also working toward finishing the 3rd and nearly final draft of my memoir of my life with Art.  I figured out where I'm at in the work and what's left to do and how long that ought to take.  Based on how it's been going, I should be done by around September of this year, and then out to agents, etc.
   A spectacular release of the vinyl single coming from Omnivore very soon, though.  (I love it when other people do all the work. ) I'll keep you up to date.

Meanwhile, here's a snapshot from that 1980 Japanese tour.  I took about 200 photos.  Every one of Art shows him happy and smiling, just like this (Kyushu)

Oh, well, and P.S.

Monday, April 16, 2012

MEMOIR: What I Read at Berklee (more or less)

I'm unable to stop editing.  I was making urgent changes in the galleys of Straight Life until the last minute.  So this is a little different but not much different from the excerpt of the work-in-progress memoir that I read for the generous, gracious gang at Berklee on April 11th.

Photos:  Working on Straight Life 40 years ago

Forty years ago today, Art and I began our work on Straight Life.  This is an excerpt––from a memoir I’ve been working on––which describes the beginning of that process.  We’d met in 1969 in Synanon, a residential drug treatment program.  Elaborate encounter sessions there were called “The Game.” We fell in love.  After 3 years, Art left and went to live and work at a friend’s bakery.  Soon, he wrote and asked me to join him.  I knew he wasn’t “cured” of his addictions, and I was afraid to leave the safety of the institution, but I justified my actions, thinking I would write a book about Art’s life.]
On April 11, 1972, I finally made Art commit to an hour with me.  That afternoon, I went to his office/bedroom at the bakery with a notebook and one of those, small, inexpensive tape recorders with a built-in mike.  Art sat behind his immaculate old desk with its too neat arrangement of pens and pencils, an adding machine, his cigarettes, lighter, and ashtray, placed just so and constantly nudged into ever more perfect alignment.  And a bottle of malt liquor.  "Mickey" was the brand he liked.  A name to conjure with.  I had no idea how much of this stuff he was drinking until we began to record regularly.
         I said, "Tell me why you want to do this book."  Actually, up to that point, it was all me, my desire to begin and his resistance.  But he obediently took my cue.  What follows, edited a little, is what he said:
         "Well, the reason I want to get the book started…  The book was going to be written…  When I was in San Quentin someone came in to visit me.  He wanted to write a book on my life.  He got permission to see me.  He came in two or three times.  Then, when I got out, and I saw him in Hollywood, I decided I didn't want the book written, because I didn't feel that that was the time to do it.  That was in '66.  Now I want to have it done.  Now I feel a real sense of urgency, because I feel something pulling at me.  I have a strong feeling I'm not going to live too much longer, and although I have lots of reasons to feel that way physically, this is more than a physical thing.  I can sense it.  It's becoming like another person.  I can almost touch it.  It's becoming real.
         "I can only liken it to one period when I was using heroin cut with procaine.  I was shooting about a half an ounce of this stuff a day, and I would hear voices, somebody calling my name, outside the bathroom door, and little things would flash, I would see a flash to my right or to my left, and I'd turn my head, and there was nothing there.  It was an audible thing, a visual thing; it wasn't an imagined thing.  It actually happened, and it was induced by the procaine the heroin was cut with.  And now I feel a presence.  Just in the last couple of weeks I've really been feeling it.  I can feel this presence and the presence is death."
         I gasped.  I checked the tape.  It was rolling.  He continued, going far afield, into a wild improvisation on aging, death, superstition, suicide in comic book imagery, Edgar Cayce, and immortality. 
         That was it.  He was done.  He was very low, but I was on fire.  I couldn't let him stop talking. I asked him, there, surrounded by awards he'd been given and his album covers, all of which he'd mounted on his walls, if he believed he was a genius.  I'd heard him on this theme before. 
         What he said, then, about his bandstand battle with Sonny Stitt, appears in Straight Life.  I edited it and made it the Conclusion, his summing up, and it's been excerpted and praised in almost every review.  For me it was Art's opening salvo, brilliant, touching, rhythmic, evocative, suspenseful, triumphant.  When he finished with that, we both gasped.  I hear us on the tape.  Then we laughed.  I was sitting on his little bed and hollered, "Wow!" rocking back and hitting my head on the wall.  Thunk!  "Holy shit!"
         "Turn it off, turn it off!"  Art told me.  I turned the tape recorder off.  Then, surreptitiously, I turned it on again. 
         We were both talking at once:  His narrative had been like a jazz solo, its repeating theme, its mounting vehemence, its forward movement.  And yet it had been history.  A document.  This may have been the first time Art was made aware of just how great his storytelling gifts were.  As for me, I was confirmed in my belief that there could be a book and knew that there must be.
         And Art, well, he went on delightedly, saying that he was going to fall in love with the tape recorder, that he was going to start dreaming about it.  He said he saw, now, that his life was beautiful because it made sense, now, as "a recollection."  And that his fate had prepared him for this, his final work, by throwing him into Synanon where playing the Game enhanced his verbal skills and where he met me, who was making all this possible.
         Though Art was to lose this early enthusiasm, making it harder and harder for me to sit him down and get and keep him talking, I had finally found my calling.  I’d been prepared by my intense childhood exposure to music, my helter-skelter Berkeley education in anthropology, folklore/oral history, and literature, and by the sly tales of his youthful hobo adventures told me by my drunkard stepfather (a great raconteur in his cups).  I'd absorbed no literary or academic rules I'd have to exert myself to follow or break.  I had no political axes to grind, no philosophical points to make.  I confess a lack of interest in the great world, its battles and governments.  I can't comprehend it.  I have enough trouble understanding my own immediate world, glimpsed in its chores and quarrels, love, money, work, responsibilities, beauties, delusions, passions and obsessions, illness and death.  And the world was teaching me that generalizing, judging, and prescribing in terms of class or race or sex is pointless (and presumptious) in terms of human beings, mysteries, all.  
         I’d written all my life:  Stories, poetry, lyrical, pretty stuff.  Lazy stuff, in that I was easily satisfied with tricky images and deft sentence endings.  Art’s language, his directness, shocked and stirred me, steered me toward true seriousness, for the first time in my life, toward true ambition.  I once heard a musician Art jammed with say “He made me play way over my head.”  Art’s intensity inspired and dared everyone he worked with to get serious.
         As I worked with him, I learned to describe things over and over to myself on paper trying to dig out of the descriptions a kind of witness's statement.  Memory is subjective, selective, but, as archeologists work daintily, unflaggingly, with brushes on some tiny patch of interest, in my relentless scratchings, I'd find stuff that surprised me, that might not exactly jibe, that gave a new perspective.  And so, in turn, I goaded Art.
         In the years to come, I made him repeat some of his problematic anecdotes again and again.  I wanted to know everything.  When I demanded elaborate descriptions of people and places, he came up with often stunning, masterful vignettes.  As for his criminal or suicidal mad behavior: What came before? What was the provocation? How did he feel about it at the time? How did he feel now, looking back? I wasn't looking for justifications for his actions, but I wanted the descriptions to be as full as he could make them.  I'd edit all the many versions, coming up with what we both thought gave the most complete account.  I was single-mindedly oblivious of how cruelly deep I made him dig and of the pressure he put on himself to tell the story well.  My cross-examinations and contradictions could make him angry and defensive.  But Art loved honesty (he called it “Truth"), and he respected me; he trusted me and knew I valued him despite what damning stuff we might dig up.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

JOURNAL: Berklee, Boston April 2012

Fred Bouchard (gracious host) of Berklee, me, Michael Connelly (adjusting microphone)
photo taken by Anton Petrishchevskiy

Me and Fred (Anton's picture)

Michael Connelly, Bill Holodnak (sponsor of the whole shebang), and lucky me

Michael, Lili Holodnak, Bill's beautiful and brilliant kid, and me again

Below, some pictures of beautiful Boston taken on a walk near Berklee

The best macaroon I ever ate