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Art Pepper: The Discovery Sessions

Art Pepper cut tracks for the Discovery label in 1952 and 1954, and then later Savoy purchased them. All of the titles are here, but not all of the alternate takes contained on a 1977 Savoy two-fer LP reissue.

This is some of Pepper’s finest recorded work. He may have been given too much publicity for the wrong reason- he was an incorrigible junkie-but he was also a very important alto saxophonist. As a teenager with Stan Kenton he had a saxophonist Willie Smith-like style, but after coming out of the service in 1946 synthesized the approaches of Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Pepper’s tone was vibratoless, small, light and penetrating, and he played a lot of notes, often using darting double-time passages. He also had the melodic inventiveness to play pretty, song-like solos, and the chops and quick flow of ideas to enable him to eat up chord changes at fast tempos. He does both on The Discovery Sessions.

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