Thursday, June 14, 2018

Art Pepper - Live in USA (2018) 2 Discs

Disc 1. Was recorded in California at Foothill College in 1975 and released in Europe and Japan shortly after Art's death in 1982. 

In '75, Art was just beginning to do some jazz gigs. He'd been working hard playing bar mitzvahs and weddings, often with Tommy Gummina, heard here on Chordovox, his own invention. You may think it's an accordion, but you'd be wrong. During the 50s and 60s Tommy won many jazz awards including the ones Downbeat hands out. He recorded extensively with Buddy DeFranco, and Art loved Tommy's inventive ideas and chord voicings. Loved playing with him. Also, on this set, Fred Atwood on bass, and Jimmie Smith on drums. 

Disc 2. Also released in Europe and Japan in '83. it was recorded in 1977 at Pete Douglas's Beach House in Half Moon Bay California (aka Bach Dynamite and Dancing). By 1977 Art was beginning to tour and, later in the year, would play his legendary sets at the Village Vanguard in New York, following that up with his first tour of Japan. This is a particularly beautiful set and Art's tune, Lost Life, is the standout. In my opinion, it's perfect, and he never played it any better than he does here, partly because Smith Dobson is playing piano. Jim Nichols is on bass, Brad Bilhorn on drums. This is the same band accompanying Art on volume 8 from Widow's Taste—a lovely release.