ART PEPPER
       Pacific session

            Recording Date:
                      August 12, 1957

                    Don Fagerquist   TP
                    Stu Williamson  VTB
                    Red Callender    TU
                    Art Pepper          AS
                    Bill Holman        TS
                    Bud Shank           VB
                    Russ Freeman     P
                    Monty Budwig    B
                    Shelly Manne      D


Review by Scott Yanow
This superior three-LP box set reissues all of altoist Art Pepper's small-group dates for the Pacific Jazz label. Virtually all of the music has since been reissued on CD (part of it as The Artistry of Pepper and part of it under trumpeter Chet Baker's name), but the Mosaic box, which has an attractive booklet, is the definitive treatment of this chapter in Pepper's musical story. The great altoist is heard in a sextet with Baker and tenor saxophonist Richie Kamuca, on a version of "Tenderly" with Chet Baker's big band, with Baker and tenor Phil Urso in a different sextet, sharing the spotlight with tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins in a quintet, and heading a nonet playing arrangements by Shorty Rogers. The music is very much in the cool/bop tradition, but Pepper is instantly recognizable (he never sounded that much like Charlie Parker) and even at this early stage, he was at the top of his form. All 26 performances are quite enjoyable and swinging, making this hard-to-find set worth the search.

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