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Art Pepper - Promise Kept: The Complete Artists House Recordings

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Promise Kept: The Complete Artists House Recordings

Art Pepper

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Saxophonist Art Pepper's career was in its final comeback phase in 1979 when he accepted producer John Snyder's invitation to record an album on his fledgling Artists House label. A West Coast jazz star in the '50s, Pepper had suffered from bouts with drug abuse and subsequent incarceration that left him largely marginalized by the '70s. However, after going through rehab and meeting his wife and manager Laurie Pepper, he enjoyed a fruitful late-career resurgence. It is that resurgent period that is showcased on Omnivore's superb 2019 anthology Promise Kept: The Complete Artists House Recordings. Produced by Laurie Pepper and Omnivore founder Cheryl Pawleski, Promise Kept brings together all of the tracks the saxophonist recorded for Artists House including for 1980's So in Love, The New York Album, Artworks, and Stardust, all of which were later released in the mid-'80s on Galaxy Records. Also included are over 20 previously unreleased takes culled from the original sessions. All of these tracks came out of separate 1979 sessions: one in New York with bassist Ron Carter, pianist Hank Jones, and drummer Al Foster, and several in Los Angeles with pianist George Cables, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Billy Higgins. Purportedly, there was some tension between Art and the New York guys in part due to tempo choices. Consequently, tracks like "Yesterday" and Pepper's own "Diane" off So in Love, have a nervous electricity that makes them compelling decades later. More relaxed are the West Coast tracks off So in Love, including "Blues for Blanche" and "Stardust," which find Pepper striking a balance between his classic West Coast lyricism and his late-career love of bluesy, Coltrane-influenced lines. The rest of the sessions follow accordingly as Pepper spars his way through nervy renditions of "A Night in Tunisia," "Straight, No Chaser," and his own "My Friend John" on the New York Album. Conversely, the Los Angeles dates that make up Artworks and Stardust are more relaxed, featuring buoyant takes of "Desafinado" and a rare clarinet performance of "Anthropology." There are also several solo tracks featured throughout the collection including fluid, bop-inflected takes on "Body and Soul" and "You Go to My Head" off Artworks, and a starkly soulful reading of "In a Mellow Tone" on the previously unreleased Sessions disc. As with much of Pepper's later work, the Artists House sessions are marked by his earthy lyricism and hardwon soulfulness; a sound borne out of his decades-long descent into drug addiction and a renewed desire to again prove his mettle alongside the jazz greats. Tragically, he died only three years after making these recordings, leaving Laurie Pepper to issue the bulk of these tracks posthumously. Promise Kept is a testament to their comeback achievement. ~ Matt Collar

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Promise Kept: The Complete Artists House Recordings

Art Pepper

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1
Straight, No Chaser (Take 3) 00:06:23

Thelonious Monk, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

2
Blues For Blanche 00:06:47

Art Pepper, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

3
So In Love 00:11:31

Cole Porter, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

4
Diane 00:12:18

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist - The Art Pepper Quartet, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

5
Stardust 00:10:33

HOAGY CARMICHAEL, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - Maynard Ferguson, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

6
Yesterdays ((Take 2) [Bonus Track]) 00:08:13

Jerome Kern, Composer - Harbach, Composer - Otto Harbach, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

7
Landscape (Bonus Track) 00:09:28

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

8
Straight, No Chaser ((Take 4) [Bonus Track]) 00:08:07

Thelonious Monk, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

9
Body And Soul 00:04:40

Edward Heyman, Composer - Frank Eyton, Composer - John Green, Composer - Robert Sour, Composer - Johnny Green, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

10
Anthropology (Take 2) 00:06:36

Charlie Parker, Composer - Dizzy Gillespie, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

11
Desafinado (Take 2) 00:08:04

António Carlos Jobim, Composer, Lyricist - Art Pepper, MainArtist - Mendonca, Composer, Lyricist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

12
Donna Lee 00:05:59

Charlie Parker, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

13
You Got To My Head 00:06:02

Haven Gillespie, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - John Frederick Coots, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

14
Blues For Blanche (Alternate A) 00:07:30

Art Pepper, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

15
Desafinado ((Take 1) [Bonus Track]) 00:11:25

António Carlos Jobim, Composer, Lyricist - Art Pepper, MainArtist - Mendonca, Composer, Lyricist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

16
Anthropology ((Take 1) [Bonus Track]) 00:05:53

Charlie Parker, Composer - Dizzy Gillespie, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

17
Donna Lee ((Alternate A) [Bonus Track]) 00:06:12

Charlie Parker, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

18
Blues For Blanche ((Alternate B) [Bonus Track]) 00:08:16

Art Pepper, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

19
You Go To My Head ((Alternate A) [Bonus Track]) 00:04:22

Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

20
A Night in Tunisia (Take 2) 00:09:47

Gillespie, Composer, Lyricist - Paparelli, Composer, Lyricist - Dizzy Gillespie, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - FRANK PAPARELLI, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

21
Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) 00:05:43

Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

22
Straight, No Chaser (Take 2) 00:05:58

Thelonious Monk, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

23
Duo Blues 00:07:54

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

24
My Friend John 00:09:43

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

25
Johnny's Blues 00:05:17

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

26
A Night In Tunisia ((Take 1) [Bonus Track]) 00:08:48

Gillespie, Composer, Lyricist - Paparelli, Composer, Lyricist - Dizzy Gillespie, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - FRANK PAPARELLI, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

27
Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) [Clarinet] [Bonus Track] 00:03:14

Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

28
Straight, No Chaser ((Take 1) [Bonus Track]) 00:06:16

Thelonious Monk, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

29
My Friend John ((Alternate B) [Bonus Track]) 00:07:23

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

30
My Friend John (Alternate A) 00:07:48

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

31
Tin Tin Deo 00:11:05

Chano Pozo, Composer, Lyricist - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

32
Stardust (Alternate A) 00:08:43

HOAGY CARMICHAEL, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - Maynard Ferguson, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

33
In A Mellow Tone (Take 2) 00:08:36

Duke Ellington, Composer - Milt Gabler, Composer - Gabler, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

34
Art's Sweet Blues (Bonus Track) 00:03:54

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

35
But Beautiful ((Take 1) [Bonus Track]) 00:03:21

Burke, Composer - Van Heusen, Composer - Johnny Burke, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - Maynard Ferguson, Composer - Jimmy Van Husen, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

36
You Go To My Head ((Alternate B) [Bonus Track]) 00:02:56

J. Fred Coots, Composer - Haven Gillespie, Composer - Fred Coots, Composer - Dizzy Gillespie, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - John Frederick Coots, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

37
Yesterdays ((Take 3) [Bonus Track]) 00:07:06

Jerome Kern, Composer - Harbach, Composer - Otto Harbach, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

38
Stardust ((Alternate B) [Bonus Track]) 00:12:13

HOAGY CARMICHAEL, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - Maynard Ferguson, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

39
In A Mellow Tone ((Take 1) [Bonus Track]) 00:10:06

Duke Ellington, Composer - Milt Gabler, Composer - Gabler, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

40
Blues For Blanche ((Alternate C) [Bonus Track]) 00:06:16

Art Pepper, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

41
Yesterdays ((Take 1) [Bonus Track]) 00:07:38

Jerome Kern, Composer - Harbach, Composer - Otto Harbach, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

42
My Friend John ((Take 1 - Long False Start) [Bonus Track]) 00:05:34

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

43
My Friend John ((Take 2 - False Start) [Bonus Track]) 00:02:00

Art Pepper, Composer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

44
Blues For Blanche ((Alternate D) [Bonus Track]) 00:06:03

Art Pepper, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

45
Stardust ((Long False Start) [Bonus Track]) 00:04:17

HOAGY CARMICHAEL, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - Maynard Ferguson, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

46
Donna Lee ((Alternate B) [Bonus Track]) 00:07:30

Charlie Parker, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

47
But Beautiful ((Take 2) [Bonus Track]) 00:03:51

Burke, Composer - Van Heusen, Composer - Johnny Burke, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - Maynard Ferguson, Composer - Jimmy Van Husen, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

48
A Night In Tunisia ((Take 3) [Bonus Track]) 00:09:34

Gillespie, Composer, Lyricist - Paparelli, Composer, Lyricist - Dizzy Gillespie, Composer - Art Pepper, MainArtist - FRANK PAPARELLI, Composer

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

49
Blues For Blanche ((Alternate E) [Bonus Track]) 00:06:47

Art Pepper, Composer, Writer, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

50
Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) [Alternate Sax Take] [Bonus Track] 00:05:21

Art Pepper, MainArtist

2019 Omnivore Recordings, a division of Omnivore Entertainment Group, LLC. 2019 Widow's Taste Music, under exclusive license to Omnivore Recordings

Album Description

Saxophonist Art Pepper's career was in its final comeback phase in 1979 when he accepted producer John Snyder's invitation to record an album on his fledgling Artists House label. A West Coast jazz star in the '50s, Pepper had suffered from bouts with drug abuse and subsequent incarceration that left him largely marginalized by the '70s. However, after going through rehab and meeting his wife and manager Laurie Pepper, he enjoyed a fruitful late-career resurgence. It is that resurgent period that is showcased on Omnivore's superb 2019 anthology Promise Kept: The Complete Artists House Recordings. Produced by Laurie Pepper and Omnivore founder Cheryl Pawleski, Promise Kept brings together all of the tracks the saxophonist recorded for Artists House including for 1980's So in Love, The New York Album, Artworks, and Stardust, all of which were later released in the mid-'80s on Galaxy Records. Also included are over 20 previously unreleased takes culled from the original sessions. All of these tracks came out of separate 1979 sessions: one in New York with bassist Ron Carter, pianist Hank Jones, and drummer Al Foster, and several in Los Angeles with pianist George Cables, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Billy Higgins. Purportedly, there was some tension between Art and the New York guys in part due to tempo choices. Consequently, tracks like "Yesterday" and Pepper's own "Diane" off So in Love, have a nervous electricity that makes them compelling decades later. More relaxed are the West Coast tracks off So in Love, including "Blues for Blanche" and "Stardust," which find Pepper striking a balance between his classic West Coast lyricism and his late-career love of bluesy, Coltrane-influenced lines. The rest of the sessions follow accordingly as Pepper spars his way through nervy renditions of "A Night in Tunisia," "Straight, No Chaser," and his own "My Friend John" on the New York Album. Conversely, the Los Angeles dates that make up Artworks and Stardust are more relaxed, featuring buoyant takes of "Desafinado" and a rare clarinet performance of "Anthropology." There are also several solo tracks featured throughout the collection including fluid, bop-inflected takes on "Body and Soul" and "You Go to My Head" off Artworks, and a starkly soulful reading of "In a Mellow Tone" on the previously unreleased Sessions disc. As with much of Pepper's later work, the Artists House sessions are marked by his earthy lyricism and hardwon soulfulness; a sound borne out of his decades-long descent into drug addiction and a renewed desire to again prove his mettle alongside the jazz greats. Tragically, he died only three years after making these recordings, leaving Laurie Pepper to issue the bulk of these tracks posthumously. Promise Kept is a testament to their comeback achievement. ~ Matt Collar

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