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.
THEY'RE TOO STUNNING TO HIDE AWAY IN MY FILES AS YOU'LL SOON SEE.
I'll also post occasional journal entries including updates on new releases.
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