A Medium-Tempo Blues (1981)

Art Pepper

The great altoist and his 1981 quartet dig into a cooking blues

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Art Pepper (1925-82) was one of the finest alto-saxophonists of all time.

Although he recorded one gem after another in the 1950s, Pepper was a longtime heroin addict who was largely off the music scene during much of 1961-74 before launching an unlikely and very successful comeback.

Pepper did some of his finest playing during his final seven years (1975-82).

In May 1981 during a European tour, Pepper and his group with pianist Milcho Leviev, bassist Bob Magnusson and drummer Carl Burnett performed at a concert in Rome that was partly filmed.

The quartet is featured on an original medium-tempo blues with Pepper and Leviev taking fiery solos and Magnusson and Burnett heard in brief tradeoffs.

The performance is full of passion and features Art Pepper in excellent form.

-Scott Yanow


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