Selected track: “Cinnamon” >
Special Christmas Bonus! Extra pick from Surf Ride as recommended by Dottor Jazz “Straight Life” >
Art Pepper with various “groups”, recorded in 1956 during one of the brief spells at the time when he was not in prison.
The track selection “Cinnamon” features distinctive counter-melodies from Jack Montrose (ts), with Claude Williamson (p) Monty Budwig (b) and Larry Bunker (d) – all top West Coast sidesmen.
Other tracks feature Hampton Hawes (p), Russ Freeman (p), Bobby Whitlock (b), and Joe Mondragon (b) and Bobby White (d) in the rhythm section.
Recorded a year before the previous post, “Surf Ride” is happy boppy bright fast tempo and light. Many of the tracks carry herbal references, in the best play on words manner – I imagine the music industry employs lots of “creatives” to think these up. “Cinnamon” showcases Art on alto duetting, or duelling, with Montrose on tenor, in characteristic Montrose contrapuntal mode. A tasty recipe for well seasoned jazz (I can write this stuff too you know)
Vinyl Detail: pressing, run-out and labels
MG 12089 US press Savoy heavy vinyl, maroon labels, mono, with a raised edge to buffer the record when in an autochanger. RVG hand inscribed initials. The audio is not quite up to the very best of NY Fifties pressings, though still very good. Possibly one of the last bunch off the stampers, who knows.
RVG in the runout
Goldmine Tim Neeleys fault – just when I decided they were asking too much, a casual look at Goldmine confirmed this as an ultra rare and valuable record (though I noticed some of the tracks have since been reissued by Liberty in around 1980 in their “stuff discovered in the vaults series, “Alpha Omega” or some such similar title.
In the best tradition of chaotic production, the songs listed on the cover are in a different order to those listed on the label, so I am guessing the selected track is indeed “Cinnamon”. The cover is slightly too wholesome for an addition to the cheesy Fifties Batchelor Collection of “girls on covers “, though the bikini helps. It wouldn’t quite work the same way with a guy on the board, apart from around certain parts of San Francisco.
I think the cover says it all. West Coast, girls, sun and surf. Am expensive purchase but definitely a “see it buy it”, this you won’t see again. A pure 1956 artefact in excellent condition is not something you see every day.