At His Later Best
Edward Abbott | Stuart, FL USA | 10/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the most obscure albums in the Art Pepper canon. Recorded September 5,1980 on the Galaxy Label at the Fantasy Studios.
No matter, this work laid down here is pure Art Pepper totally on top of his game. Here he was free of the demons that plaqued his life so often in the past. To say he was back to his previous best, is a undeniable yes. But Art was only to be with us a few more months, but during this period of time his art grew as never before and this album lays testament to that fact.
Each track on "One September Afternoon" finds him in rare form and with some of his favorite session men with him. To hear him on this recording, lays testament to the fact that he was back. In my opinion this is one of his greatest outings. This recording is just magical. There is not a lame track here. It swings in the typical west coast cool jazz, that was Art Pepper.
Art Pepper - Alto Sax
Stanley Cowell - Piano
Howard Roberts - Guitar
Cecil McBee - Bass
Carl Burnett - Drums
Art Pepper's professional career can be divided into three main eras:
1950 to 1960 - The Early Show marked Pepper's first recoding as leader. This period included his affiliation with Savoy, Blue Note, and Contemporary Records. It saw the release of the truly legendary recordings Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section and Art Pepper + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics. Pepper's early tone was cool, dry-ice with impeccable intonation and vibrato. Early Art ended with Pepper walking out of the Contemporary recording studio November 25, 1960 and preparing for an extended prison stay. That recording session resulted in Intensity and it would be some 15 years before Pepper would lead a combo in the studio again.
1960 to 1975 - A mostly musical fallow period characterized by Pepper's multiple prison and drug rehabilitation stays. There was some notable biodiscographics to consider. Pepper's playing had come under the spell of John Coltrane, an influence heard in abundance on the horribly recorded Art Pepper Quartet Live in San Francisco, 1964 and the recently released Renascence, recorded live 1975. Pepper's tone began to fray, betraying the naked emotion he would emit from his horn during the end of his life.
1975 to 1982- The Götterdammerung of the Jazz life, Pepper is fully reconstructed and infinitely impassioned. He released Living Legend in 1975, beginning a string of excellent recordings that included The Trip, No Limit, and his famous first East Coast recordings at the Village Vanguard. Pepper's later career was marked by a switch to Galaxy Records where he produced his famous Maiden Voyage Sessions, his strings recording, Winter Moon and his final duets with his favorite pianist George Cables, Goin' Home and Tête-à-Tête.
Art Pepper's tone and performance at his life's end were devastating- both to him and his fans. He concluded his life as the World's Greatest Alto Saxophonist."