Sunday Jazz: Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section

Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm SectionOn January 19, 1957 — one day after appearing on The Steve Allen Show — alto saxophonist Art Pepper joined forces with the fantastic rhythm section from the Miles Davis group — pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones — in Hollywood, California. That day’s recording sessions resulted in the excellent and aptly named Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, released on the Contemporary label (Mono C 3532/S 7532; Stereo S 7018).

It’s a great album, and one that beautifully blends Pepper’s distinctive tone and West Coast cool sound with a decidedly more upbeat pace. Take, for instance, this hot rendition of a Pepper original, “Straight Life.” Pepper’s Charlie Parker-esque soloing bookends the song brilliantly, and he is matched step-for-step by Garland. Chambers and Jones hold the whole thing down while letting it flow freely.

Check out “Straight Life” here, and then by all means grab the whole album. You won’t be disappointed.

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