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May 2007

Art Pepper
The Complete Abashiri Concert
Widow's Taste

Another hero of jazz archivists is Laurie Pepper, who deserves full credit for saving and extending the life of the great altoist Art Pepper. The Complete Abashiri Concert, a two-CD set put out by her Widow’s Taste label (straightlife.info), consists of previously unreleased music from a 1981 performance that ranks with Pepper’s finest later work. Joined by pianist George Cables, bassist David Williams and drummer Carl Burnett, Pepper’s intensity and passion on a dozen selections is riveting. Is there such a thing as a bad Art Pepper record?

Originally published in May 2007
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