Friday, April 8, 2016

The Complete Surf Ride... Plus (Feat. Art Pepper)

Despite a remarkably colorful and difficult life, Art Pepper was quite consistent in the recording studios ; virtually every recording he made is well worth getting. In the 1950s he was one of the few altoists (along with Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond) that was able to develop his own sound despite the dominant influence of Charlie Parker. During his last years, Pepper seemed to put all of his life's experiences into his music and he played with startling emotional intensity.
After a brief stint with Gus Arnheim, Pepper played with mostly black groups on Central Avenue in Los Angeles. He spent a little time in the Benny Carter and Stan Kenton orchestras before serving time in the military (1944-1946). Some of Pepper's happiest days were during his years with Stan Kenton (1947-1952), although he became a heroin addict in that period. The 1950s found the altoist recording frequently both as a leader and a sideman, resulting in at least two classics (Plays Modern Jazz Classics and Meets the Rhythm Section), but he also spent two periods in jail due to drug offenses during 1953-1956. Pepper was in top form during his Contemporary recordings of 1957-1960, but the first half of his career ended abruptly with long prison sentences that dominated the 1960s. His occasional gigs between jail terms found him adopting a harder tone influenced by John Coltrane that disturbed some of his longtime followers. He recorded with Buddy Rich in 1968 before getting seriously ill and rehabilitating at Synanon (1969-1971). Art Pepper began his serious comeback in 1975 and the unthinkable happened. Under the guidance and inspiration of his wife Laurie, Pepper not only recovered his former form but topped himself with intense solos that were quite unique ; he also enjoyed occasionally playing clarinet. His recordings for Contemporary and Galaxy rank with the greatest work of his career. Pepper's autobiography Straight Life (written with his wife) is a brutally honest book that details his sometimes horrifying life. When Art Pepper died at the age of 56, he had attained his goal of becoming the world's great altoist.
Scott Yanow

Source :

Art Pepper
The Complete Surf Ride


Cd. 1

1 Brown Gold (Pepper)  2:22
2 These Foolish Things (Strachey, Marvell)  2:38
3 Surf Ride (Pepper)  3:08
4 Holiday Flight (Pepper)  2:50
5 Chili Pepper [take 1] (Pepper)  2:48
6 Chili Pepper [take 2] (Pepper)  3:04
7 Chili Pepper [take 4] (Pepper)  2:57
8 Chili Pepper [take 4] (Pepper)  2:57
9 Chili Pepper [take 5] (Pepper)  2:53
10 Suzy The Poodle [take 1] (Pepper)  3:11
11 Suzy The Poodle [take 3] (Pepper)  3:06
12 Suzy The Poodle [take 5] (Pepper)  3:29
13 Suzy The Poodle [take 6] (Pepper)  3:16
14 Everything Happens To Me [take 1] (Adair, Dennis)  3:27
15 Everything Happens To Me [take 2] (Adair, Dennis)  2:58
16 Everything Happens To Me [take 3] (Adair, Dennis)  3:12
17 Everything Happens To Me [take 4] (Adair, Dennis)  3:06
18 Everything Happens To Me [take 6] (Adair, Dennis)  3:05
19 Tickle Toe [take 4] (Young)  2:51
20 Tickle Toe [take 9] (Young)  2:51
21 Nutmeg [take 3] (Pepper)  3:12
22 Nutmeg [take 4] (Pepper)  3:18
23 Nutmeg [take 6] (Pepper)  2:57
24 Nutmeg [take 7] (Pepper)  2:59


Cd. 2

1 Deep Purple (Parish, De Rose)  3:56
2 Cinnamon [take 2] (Pepper)  3:14
3 Cinnamon [take 3] (Pepper)  3:15
4 Cinnamon [take 5] (Pepper)  3:07
5 What's New ? [take 1] (Haggart, Burke)  3:28
6 What's New ? [take 2] (Haggart, Burke)  3:28
7 What's New ? [take 3] (Haggart, Burke)  3:26
8 Thyme Time [take 1] (Pepper)  4:08
9 Thyme Time [take 2] (Pepper)  3:23
10 Thyme Time [take 3] (Pepper)  3:27
11 Straight Life [take 1] (Pepper)  2:44
12 Straight Life [take 2] (Pepper)  2:47
13 Straight Life [take 3] (Pepper)  2:50
14 Art's Oregano [take 1] (Pepper)  3:08
15 Art's Oregano [take 2] (Pepper)  3:06
16 Art's Oregano [take 5] (Pepper)  3:06
17 The Way You Look Tonight [take 2] (Kern, Fields)  3:45
18 The Way You Look Tonight [take 5] (Kern, Fields)  3:45
19 Pooch McGooch (Russo)  2:40
20 All of Me (Simons, Marks)  2:26
21 Back in Your Own Backyard (Jolson, Rose, Dreyer)  2:26
22 The Count on Rush Street (Russo)  3:08


[Cd 1 - # 1-4]
Art Pepper - as
Hampton Hawes - p
Joe Mondragon - b
Larry Bunker - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; March 4, 1952
[Cd 1 - # 5-20]
Art Pepper - as
Hampton Hawes - p
Bob Whitlock - b
Bobby White - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; October 8, 1952
[Cd 1 - # 21-24 & Cd 2 #1-7]
Art Pepper - as
Jack Montrose - ts
Claude Williamson - p
Monty Budwig - b
Paul Ballerina - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; August 25, 1954
[Cd 2 - # 8-18]
Same as above, excpet Larry Bunker - dr replaces Ballerina
[Cd 2 - # 19-22]
Conte Candoli - tp
Bill Russo - tb
Art Pepper - as
Bob Cooper - ts
Don Bagley - b
Gene Esposito - p
Shelly Manne - dr & voc [# 20]
Shelby Davis - voc [#21]
Recorded in Chicago ; November 12, 1951

The music on this Savoy CD (put out by Nippon Columbia) is quite brilliant, but the packaging leaves a lot to be desired. The recording dates are all incorrect, there are only 12 performances included (around 37 minutes) and none of the sessions are reissued in complete form. Two of the dates, quartet outings with either Russ Freeman or Hampton Hawes on piano, have just three of their four numbers reissued while only six of the eight songs from the altoist's classic session with tenor saxophonist Jack Montrose are here. Even if the four missing selections had been included, the program would have totaled around 49 minutes. The somewhat random nature of this set is unfortunate, for Pepper is in superior form throughout with highlights including "Tickle Toe," "The Way You Look Tonight" and his earliest recordings of such originals as "Susie the Poodle," "Straight Life" and "Surf Ride." Get the more definitive LP sets instead.
Scott Yanow

Source :


jazzwallah said...

Thanks Mel. I have a very old worn out LP of this and I didn't know that there were all these alternates. I saw Art Pepper perform twice late in his career and they were absolutely stunning performances. It was almost as if he knew that his time on this earth was coming to an end. The music was as intense as that of later Coltrane.

d3lta said...

Good post, many thanks!

2bad said...

This is great, Mel! Thanks.
I don't care what Yanow says - the little surfer girl is perfect!

Axel.T. said...

Thank you Mel! Art's work is timeless. I saw him many times in North Hollywood at Donte's Jazz Club on Lankersheim Blvd. He was always in fine form. Jack Sheldon and Richie Kamuca were also ther often. I have at least one picture I shot of him in the club. If you would like I can send it to you. I was also, lucky enough to get him to autograph - Straight Life - his life story.

Albertito Jazz said...

All the day watching for your new posts, Melanchthon... Thanks and thanks.

neil said...

Many thanks for the re-up, mel...

glinka21 said...

Thanks, Mel, for the download. I agree: Straight Life is a harrowing emotional biography, in which Pepper lays it on the line. He's honest about his feelings and perceptions all along the way, and the people he deals with aren't always cotton candy. At times it reads like wading through emotional sewage.

His music was equally honest.l And since he was incredibly talented, he'll never be forgotten--at least, as long as jazz is never forgotten.

Jephgo said...

Hi Mel,

any chance you can reup this download? Been looking for this album for some time. Thanks.


Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Brilliant! Thank you.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Mel, You're jazz!

Mike said...

Wow! What a treasure trove. Thank you.

Fred Archtop said...

Thanks a bunch Mel.

Luis Lorenzo said...

Gracias Mel!!


Thank you!

Axel.T. said...

Thanks for this great set of CDs.
Best to you, ALWAYS,

AmyBRAINS said...


Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

elpeleon said...

Fantastico Mel, muchas gracias !!

Kovina Kris said...

Very happy to add this to the Art Pepper collection. Thank you very much!