Bill Perkins Art Pepper “Just Friends” (1957)

Track Selection: “Just Friends” >

Bonus Track: “What is This Thing Called Love” >

Artists

Art Pepper (as) Bill Perkins (ts,bclar,f) Richie Kamuca (ts) Jimmie Rowles/ Hampton Hawes (p) Ben Tucker/ Red Mitchell (b) Mel Lewis (d) recorded Los Angeles, CA, October 29  & November 12, 1956

A mixture of sessions with Art on selected tracks, though in 1956 one was lucky to find him playing between incarcerations, and fellow West Coast tenor Richie Kamuca on others. Kamuca died young of cancer, and the rather shy Bill Perkins is better known for his appearances in the Lighthouse All Stars, of Hermosa Beach Lighthouse cafe fame. During the 1960s Perkins had a dual career as a studio musician and a recording engineer, which may explain the audio quality.

Music

Amazon customer review: “If you thrive on a healthy diet of 1950s jazz played by a matched pair of talented saxophonists, this collection will be a swinging slice of heaven” Yeah its not great prose, but you get the picture.

Vinyl (Pacific Jazz PJM 401, US original Release, Mono, Deep Groove))

Deep Groove, which is remarkable as the vinyl is characteristically West Coast thin, unlike its New York counterparts of the same period. Nothing thin about the sound however, which is rich and vibrant in the fashion of engineer Roy DuNann’s work for Contemporary Records.

I am sure there is a purpose in the overprint of giant letters M I V, something I have not seen before. Usually Roman numerals, one thousand, and four. Search me.

Collectors Corner

Expecting a UK reissue due to ambiguous eBay seller description, I was surprised and thrilled to unwrap the packing to find an original deep groove  Pacific Jazz US first pressing fom 1957. Whoa!. Cost all of around £18. Lovely condition vinyl though the cover has seam splits to the point where it is a front and a back held together with a few inches of paper seam left. Still, its the vinyl that counts in the end.

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