The Best of Art Pepper [Contemporary]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
In an otherwise mostly self-destructive career, Art Pepper had the good fortune to hook up early on with Lester Koenig of Contemporary Records, who loyally stuck with his troubled alto sax star for over two decades. Then, after Koenig's death in 1977, Pepper caught on with Galaxy until his own passing five years later. Since Fantasy owns both catalogs, the Art Pepper volume in Fantasy's voluminous "Best Of" series covers an unusually and gratifyingly vast span of territory in comparison with most of the other volumes. Beginning with the lead-off track, the ironically named "Smack Up," the CD takes us through Pepper's sporadic yet miraculously fruitful early ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
In an otherwise mostly self-destructive career, Art Pepper had the good fortune to hook up early on with Lester Koenig of Contemporary Records, who loyally stuck with his troubled alto sax star for over two decades. Then, after Koenig's death in 1977, Pepper caught on with Galaxy until his own passing five years later. Since Fantasy owns both catalogs, the Art Pepper volume in Fantasy's voluminous "Best Of" series covers an unusually and gratifyingly vast span of territory in comparison with most of the other volumes. Beginning with the lead-off track, the ironically named "Smack Up," the CD takes us through Pepper's sporadic yet miraculously fruitful early Contemporary sessions from 1957-60. Now-revered albums like Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section with a team of famous Miles Davis sidemen "Tin Tin Deo," "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To", the superb Marty Paich-arranged Art Pepper + Eleven "Move," "Bernie's Tune", and the Gettin' Together encounter with another Davis rhythm section "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise," "Gettin' Together" flash by, with Pepper excelling in his '50s hard bop mode on all fronts. The CD then takes a huge leap over the incarcerated years and late Contemporary sessions to 1978 and the Galaxy period. Suddenly, the textures change toward a funky Latin beat on "Mambo Koyama" and a small string section with Howard Roberts' acoustic guitar on "The Prisoner" and "Our Song," with pianist Stanley Cowell and bassist Cecil McBee updating the backing. Pepper's playing becomes crisper, more succinct, more openly emotional and experimental. "Over the Rainbow" closes matters, with Pepper as unsentimental as ever. While there is still a good deal more to be said about the prolific Galaxy years -- and his last project with Koenig, the miles of tapes from the 1977 Village Vanguard gig, is unrepresented -- this well-packed disc contains enough to whet any curious appetite.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/9/2004
  • Label: Contemporary
  • UPC: 025218351423
  • Catalog Number: 5714
  • Sales rank: 139,956

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Art Pepper Primary Artist, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Frank Butler Drums
Stanley Cowell Piano
Russ Freeman Piano
Red Garland Piano
Philly Joe Jones Drums
Richie Kamuca Tenor Saxophone
Wynton Kelly Piano
Mel Lewis Drums
Cecil McBee Bass, Double Bass
Dolo Coker Piano
Bob Enevoldsen Valve Trombone
Pete Jolly Piano
Kenneth Nash Percussion, Conga
Jimmy Cobb Drums
Med Flory Baritone Saxophone
Charlie Kennedy Alto Saxophone
Al Porcino Trumpet
Patrice Anderson Violin
Paul Chambers Double Bass
Audrey DeSilva Violin
Clifton Foster Violin
Elisabeth Gibson Violin
Roy Haynes Drums
Howard Roberts Guitar
Jack Sheldon Trumpet
Joe Mondragon Bass, Double Bass
Marty Paich Conductor
Greg Mazmanian Violin
Mary Anne Meredith Cello
Dick Nash Trombone
Sharon O'Connor Cello
Nathan Rubin Concert Master
Dan Smiley Violin
John Tenney Violin
Vincent DeRosa French Horn
Jimmy Bond Bass, Conductor, Double Bass
Carl Burnett Drums
Terry Adams Cello
Technical Credits
Sigmund Romberg Composer
Gil Fuller Composer
Harold Land Composer
Art Pepper Composer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Chano Pozo Composer
Jerry Bock Composer
Denzil Best Composer
Baker Bigsby Engineer
Wally Buck Engineer
John Desautels Composer
Roy DuNann Engineer
Kirk Felton Remastering
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Howard Holzer Engineer
Lester Koenig Audio Production
Marty Paich Arranger
Ed Michel Producer, Audio Production
Bernard Miller Composer
Cole Porter Composer
George David Weiss Composer
Jimmy Bond Arranger
Clarence Gaskill Composer
Paul De Barros Liner Notes
Larry Holofcener Composer
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