Art Pepper Presents West Coast Sessions, Vol. 6: Shelly Manne

Art Pepper Presents West Coast Sessions, Vol. 6: Shelly Manne

by Art Pepper

CD

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Overview

In 1979, Japanese label Atlas struck a deal with cool jazz icon Art Pepper to record a series of dates showcasing some of his fellow West Coast acolytes. Due in part to an existing contract with another label, the saxophonist opted to skirt legal troubles and record the sessions under the auspices that he was a featured guest, rather than the album headliner. Originally released in 1981 as Hollywood All-Star Sessions: Shelly Manne & His West Coast Friends, the 2017 Atlas reissue Art Pepper Presents West Coast Sessions, Vol. 6: Shelly Manne features Pepper alongside drummer Shelly Manne, trombonist Bill Watrous, tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper, pianist Pete Jolly, and bassist Monty Budwig. As with the other Atlas reissues, here we get period photos and new liner notes via the series producer, Pepper's then-wife and manager Laurie Pepper. Although known for his association with the cool jazz sound of '50s West Coast jazz, Pepper (who infamously spent time in prison throughout much of the '60s on drug charges) had matured into an aggressive, adventurous performer by the time these Atlas recordings were made. Thankfully, this dichotomy is part of what makes the Atlas dates so appealing. Essentially a loose blowing session, here we get the saxophonist digging into a batch of well-worn standards from a breezy, and (thanks to Watrous) counterpoint-heavy take on "Just Friends" to the swaggeringly earthy slow blues of "Hollywood Jam Blues" and an uncharacteristically fleet-footed reading of "Lover Come Back to Me." Also particularly engaging is the group's languid, half-lidded take on the ballad "These Foolish Things," which aches with a yearning, noir-ish romanticism. Drummer Manne ably grounds the session with his adept percussion accents and impeccable swing feel. It's also fascinating to listen to the contrast between Cooper's warmly burnished melodicism and Pepper's increasingly kinetic, yet still lyrical flow. Sadly, Pepper died several months after these sessions, making his prodigal return to his West Coast roots that much more poignant.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/29/2017
Label: Omnivore Recordings
UPC: 0816651013333
catalogNumber: 101333

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Art Pepper   Primary Artist,Alto Saxophone
Bob Cooper   Tenor Saxophone
Pete Jolly   Piano
Bill Watrous   Trombone
Monty Budwig   Bass

Technical Credits

Sigmund Romberg   Composer
Shelly Manne   Composer
Art Pepper   Composer
Bill Watrous   Composer
Greg Allen   Art Direction
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
James Mooney   Engineer
Ned Washington   Composer
Laurie Pepper   Liner Notes
George Bassman   Composer
Yasuyuki Ishihara   Director
Harry Link   Composer
Jack Strachey   Composer
Philip Braham   Composer
Douglas Furber   Composer
Holt Marvell   Composer
John Klenner   Composer
Samuel Lewis   Composer
Masahiko Yoshida   Producer

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