Marty Paich Art Pepper 10″ (1956) UK London


Selection 1: What’s Right for You

Selection 2: Melancholy Madeline

Selection 3: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

A tune that must have gone through Art’s mind many times while in the pen.


Art Pepper (as) Marty Paich (p) Buddy Clark (b) Frank Capp (d) Warden Smith (bars) Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA, August, 1956

Year: 1956

1956 The Black-and-white portable TV set hits the shops, millions discover there is nothing worth watching on TV, from any room in the house; IBM invents the hard disk drive – 5mb;  Tefal revolutionises breakfast with the first non-stick Frying Pan; US  tests H-Bomb on Bikini Atoll. Bikini surrenders.


Pepper spent 1953-6 “indoors”, recording this soon after his release. Record companies seemed uncertain whether to feature Art as leader so it was released as the Marty Paich Quartet album “featuring Art Pepper”. All the tracks are a brief two to three minutes so you get a selection here, but my favourite is the wistful Somewhere over the Rainbow, which feels to me a lament for three lost years indoors.

The following year, he recorded his masterpiece  Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section, in his own name, and a string of great albums, but it wasn’t to last. 1961-4 Art went missing again, playing with the San Quentin All-stars.

If ever a moral compass lost direction it was in the criminalisation of  drug addicted musicians. Art was arrested for “possession” of narcotics as he came out of a dealer’s house. That is like arresting people coming out of a supermarket for being in possession of shopping. Pepper says he never reformed, so incarceration didn’t achieve anything anyway.

For the time being I have given up reading Pepper’s biography Straight Life, as it wasn’t helping me understand anything, other than how self-destructive the life of a jazz musician was in those times. Flawed as individuals, their day seemed to revolve around getting drugs and then being off your face for the rest of it.  Pepper had a sublime alto voice, which seems strangely disconnected from his view about himself, no sense of mission to play and develop his “art” like a Coltrane. No doubt I’ll get back into to it but may be skip the chapters about the time indoors. For that I can watch Prison Break, on my Black and White portable.

Vinyl: London LZ-U 14040 10″ Below is what the original looks like.

Tampa-og-red-vinyl “This is one of the RAREST and most sought after jazz records ever done in early 1950’s, of Marty Paich Quartet under catalog # TP-28 in the original RED vinyl flat edged version.

I have only notice one area that ticks, on the first band lead in grooves. It only ticks a few times. There is a tiny bit of  background noise from this 55 year old recording, but that is expected on such a record. …The sound is superb with ART PEPPER doing a superb job on every cut. I feel this is the finest sounding records that Art and Marty ever recorded.”   (It sold for $860)

My vinyl, the ever so humble London American UK original release, pressed by Decca, on the less evil and ever so slightly smaller 10″ black disk.



Collectors Corner

Source: the late Brian Clark collection,  without cover.

Fake cover as the 10″ original cover was missing, I poached one from a Japanese press I had purchased earlier. I couldn’t understand why the mint japanese vinyl had all these clicks and pops.  Then a friend pointed out they must have come from the original. To my surprise the japanese pressing had cheekily been recorded by scraping tracks from an original vinyl, tics and all.  Well, its still got a few tics, one way or the other.

Its so tempting not to fake the label as well:


All I need to do then is …fake the red vinyl..umm….foiled…

7 thoughts on “Marty Paich Art Pepper 10″ (1956) UK London

  1. Picked a very interesting mono re-issue copy of this one (a personal favorite): “Chile Pepper” on Charlie Parker Records under Art Pepper’s name. Features the single most unattractive jazz LP cover I’ve ever seen – perfectly horrendous, bordering on outright offensive (yes, those are flies on the right side of the bowl). See example here:

    HOWEVER, it sounds absolutely terrific, much much much better than the original red Tampa (which, to my ears, is thin and distorted). I bought my copy for $1. Ignoring the cover, it’s a very serious bargain and worth keeping an eye out for. Anyone else have a copy? Same experience with the sound quality?

  2. I have a London copy which I love. This weekend, I heard an original Tampa. I think the London sounds clearer and more beautiful

  3. A really interesting session and entirely new to me. Sounds lovely.
    I think the whole Bebop heroin thing is a complex. People say they were the first excessive music stars but these guys were intellectuals. They struggled for acceptance and to make ends meet. They were not respected by club owners etc in the way they should have been. Okay smack was a fashionable thing but precisely because it must have been a place to go for many to escape the pain.

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