Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Art Pepper on Savoy (1952/53)

Most of Art Pepper's first three studio dates as a leader are represented in this compilation, though a few previously issued alternate takes are omitted. The first date finds the alto saxophonist in fine form, leading a quartet consisting of pianist Hampton Hawes, bassist Joe Mondragon, and drummer Larry Bunker. Pepper primarily sticks to originals, though he offers a warm rendition of the standard "These Foolish Things" as well. Pepper sounds a little more adventurous on the second date, accompanied by pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Bob Whitlock, and drummer Bobby White. Two takes of "Chili Pepper" (a Latin-flavored reworking of the venerable "Tea for Two"), two versions of the rapid-fire "Suzy the Poodle" (based upon "[Back Home Again In] Indiana"), a lush arrangement of the ballad "Everything Happens to Me," and a swinging performance of Lester Young's "Tickle Toe" (which incorporates cornetist Bix Beiderbecke's tag from the recording of Paul Whiteman's "When") make up this session. Tenor saxophonist Jack Montrose obviously stimulates Pepper on the third date; the rhythm section is made up of pianist Claude Williamson, bassist Monty Budwig, and either Paul Vallerina or Larry Bunker on drums. The two versions of "Nutmeg" (yet another variation of "I Got Rhythm") find the two reedmen playing off one another with finesse, along with brief solos by Williamson and Budwig. The saxmen also shine in a somewhat brisk take of the standard "Deep Purple" and the two takes of Bob Haggart's lovely "What's New?" The title to the frenetic "Straight Life" is a bit ironic, given Pepper's battle with narcotics abuse, but it is one of the most provocative selections of this compilation. Completists may grouse about the missing (and viable) alternate takes, but the sound restoration on this Savoy reissue is head and shoulders above earlier editions of this valuable music.
Ken Dryden

Source :

Art Pepper
The Discovery Sessions


1 Brown Gold (Pepper) 2:21
2 These Foolish Things (Lick, Maschwitz, Strachey) 2:39
3 Surf Ride (Pepper) 2:49
4 Holiday Flight (Pepper) 3:06
5 Chili Pepper [alternate] (Pepper) 3:01
6 Chili Pepper [original issue] (Pepper) 2:55
7 Suzy the Poodle [original issue] (Pepper) 3:09
8 Suzy the Poodle [alternate] (Pepper) 3:15
9 Everything Happens to Me (Adair, Dennis) 3:04
10 Tickle To (Young) 2:50
11 Nutmeg [original issue] (Pepper) 3:10
12 Nutmeg [alternate] (Pepper) 2:57
13 Deep Purple (Parish, De Rose) 3:54
14 Cinnamon (Pepper) 3:05
15 What's New ? [alternate] (Haggart, Burke) 3:30
16 What's New ? [original issue] (Haggart, Burke) 3:24
17 Thyme Time [original issue] (Pepper) 3:25
18 Thyme Time [alternate] (Pepper) 3:25
19 Straight Life (Pepper) 2:47
20 Art's Oregano (Pepper) 3:06
21 The Way You Look Tonight [alternate] (Kern, Fields) 5:29
22 The Way You Look Tonight [original issue] (Kern, Fields) 3:44

[# 1-4]
Art Pepper - as
Hampton Hawes - p
Joe Mondragon - b
Larry Bunker - dr
Recorded probably March 4, 1952
[# 5-10]
Art Pepper - as
Russ Freeman - p
Bob Whitlock - b
Bobby White - dr
Recorded October 8, 1952
[# 11-22]
Art Pepper - as
Jack Montrose - ts
Claude Williamson - p
Monte Budwig - b
Paul Vallerina - dr [# 11-16]
Larry Bunker - dr [# 17-22]
Recorded August 25, 1953


rm said...

Merci beaucoup!

Axel.T. said...

Thank you so much for these Art Pepper albums, I don't remember seeing when I was young. I saw Art many times in Los Angeles during the 1960s into the 1970s. I don't ever remember seeing these in the record shops I used to go to.
Thanks a million for these rare pieces.

Orbyt said...

Unknown to me, many thanks Mel!

PlantDoctor53 said...

Hi Mel. Thanks for the Pepper!

neil said...

Glad you're back giving me the opportunity to hear this, Mel.

Melanchthon said...



OldHippieRick said...

make the m M and it's works games indeed.. but a great share

Boletus Joe said...

Thanks also for the 10" covers.... I have about 300 10# albums.... but not these.... Cool