Sunday, May 19, 2024

Art for Art's Sake


Art Pepper Quartet - Yours Is My Heart Alone

We're brightening Sunday with the first anniversary post in a long time, stuck in birthday land as I have been since March.

How I've never covered this dude before, in 10 1/2 years of this page, I can't say. It's an awful lie of omission, and it changes today.

Did anyone see the HBO documentary series about Synanon? This guy was in it for a quarter of a second.

As notorious for his heroin-related jail stints in San Quentin as he was for music, today's honoree achieved his goal of dying as the world's foremost alto saxophonist.

He's gone 42 years now, can you believe that?

Having been raised by his abusive and alcoholic asshole parents before being exiled to grandma's, he was able to rip hearts from chests from a tender age, using only his trusty sax.

Another of those rare players we laud on here -- the ones that you know it's them after a single note or phrase -- he's as beloved and as influential on Jazz as he ever was.

There's this other music blog I frequent, and half the posts are of him, or at least it seems that way.

He's a little like Lee Morgan, in that he featured astonishing technique coupled with a sophisticated but universally basic and translatable emotional quality. Usually it is one or the other, but the rare cats have both.

The poor guy only made it to 56 -- drugs and traveling made sure of that -- but in the sense that matters his music is eternal and he can never die.

Take as an exemplar this delicious, full concert France Musique (FM for short) rebroadcast a couple of years ago, recorded in Paris in 1981 at the end of dude's run.

That's the thing about Art Pepper: no matter what sort of pharmaceutical depredations he put himself through, his playing never suffered.

Art Pepper Quartet
Espace Cardin
Paris, France

01 Ophelia
02 Mambo Koyama
03 Here's That Rainy Day
04 Landscape
05 Yours Is My Heart Alone
06 Avalon
07 Patricia
08 Rhythm-A-Ning
09 That’s Love

Total time: 1:45:20
disc break goes after Track 05

Art Pepper - alto saxophone & clarinet
Milcho Leviev - piano
Bob Magnusson - bass
Carl Burnett - drums

digital capture of a France Musique rebroadcast from 2021
some applause transitions smoothed -- with volume boosted +3 dB throughout -- by EN, May 2024
719 MB FLAC/direct link

This one was a little chopped up between tunes, with the applause skittering hither and yon. I inserted a few transitional tags to smooth some of these out, and cranked it up 3 dB also. Nothing else was changed.

I'll be back on the weekend with something so cool: the first centennial I've ever done for an alive person! And a stellar 100 one to boot.

That's coming, but Art Pepper blowing up the Cardin using only his horn is here and now! I'll get him again on his big birthday next year, but I didn't wanna wait that long to let Art imitate Life as only he could!--J.
9.1.1925 - 6.15.1982

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