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Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. Vii: Sankei Hall—Osaka, Japan

Laurie Pepper, widow of Art Pepper, launched the Unreleased Art series in 2006. She is now up to seven volumes. All but one contains a single live concert from 1980-1982, the last two years of Pepper’s turbulent life.

If you wanted to make a case against this series, you would argue that Pepper’s work had already been voluminously documented. For example, The Complete Galaxy Recordings is a 16-CD box covering the same period. You would argue that the same tunes and personnel keep reappearing, and that the audio quality mostly sucks. But the only charge that would stick is the sound. Volume VII was recorded by an anonymous member of the audience in Osaka, Japan, on cassette. The sound, of course, is awful, congealed and distorted.

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