LJC Reminder: data request for your NYC Prestige records! Whether you have few or many, the collector community need good data to identify early and original Prestige pressings. Go to the Prestige post to pick up the template, and contribute data on your collection. It’s just a few clicks. Results will be shared on LJC. It’s the right thing to do.
——————————————————————————————————————– Selection: But Beautiful
Continuing the previous post’s Contemporary Records theme…but jumping two decades into the future
Art Pepper (alto,tenor saxophone, clarinet) George Cables (piano) George Mraz (bass) Elvin Jones (drums) recorded at the “Village Vanguard”, NYC, 1st set (selection, from first show), July 28, 1977, engineer Bob Simpson, remixed by John Koenig (so no Roy DuNann) .
After “graduating” from San Quentin, and a lengthy period in rehab at Synanon, Pepper returned to the recording studios in the mid-70s, playing and recording through until 1982, when he finally ran out of time, age 56.
I’ve long overlooked Pepper’s later work, there is so much good stuff in his prime, but when I stumbled on this lovely three box set recorded in 1977, vintage engineering by King Records, and with one of my recent favourite bassists, George Mraz, and Mr Elvin Jones on drums, a second opinion was long overdue. Recorded over three nights before a relaxed appreciative audience (no jackass stomping hooting or whistling, – apologies to those who welcome the more demonstrative audience ) this live set automatically has you turning the lights down low and joining the audience, a decanter positioned strategically within arms reach.
Pepper has a uniquely sweet alto voice with its expressive timbre undimmed by time in the big house and decades of narcotic consumption. Despite his self-destructive course and wasted years inside, when Art steps forward to play, it’s Art, pure and simple
. Pepper leads the way, effortlessly self-assured, through both original compositions and bebop mainstays, whilst his supporting trio – Cables, Mraz and Jones – are long experienced jazz craftsman, acutely sensitive to one another’s personal styles, wrapping the whole sound seamlessly together. It’s still musically the ’60s, but now grown up.
I’ll offer my Japanese readers the insert’s the four pages of Japanese text (indicative of Japan-only releases?) If there is anything you feel should be brought to our attention, please feel free. For non-Japanese readers, on to the pictures, front and back. Pictured with Art, Max Gordon, proprietor over five decades of The Village Vanguard, probably the most influential club in jazz history, recording venue for Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, countless others, fitting that Pepper should finally join the list. And the bilingual track listing. Triple Vinyl: Contemporary (Japan) GXH-3009/11 King Records pressing 1980 Numbered Limited Edition, box with little hole in the back, to push the albums forward out of the box, Japanese ingenuity. Mosaic, take note! Collector’s Corner The first time I had seen a King Box Set, but not the first Japanese Contemporary. Records like this fall within the golden era of pre-digital production, Japanese quality engineering, near-silent vinyl, and a playback history of non-injurious low-weight tracking arms and generally careful owners. So you can be fairly confident of what you are going to get. Though there was always the possibility, I was not disappointed. ————————————————————————————————————— Reminder: Prestige NYC titles – Keep those Prestige NYC data contributions coming, we have 180 records data sets in but we need more! prestige-collectors-datasheet-v-6-4-9-5-15 Thank you all those who have already submitted a return, for the rest of you, contribute what you have.