Despite his very erratic lifestyle, altoist Art Pepper never made a bad record. This collection is better than most. The first four titles team together Pepper with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh, pianist Ronnie Ball, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Gary Frommer for generally intriguing explorations of four standards. One can feel the influence of Lennie Tristano (with Pepper in Lee Konitz's place), although Pepper had his own sound and a more hard-swinging style.
This 2 CD Legacy Edition of features an expanded version of the original RCA album. Added is four single sides from the period and a selection of "fly-on-the-wall" outtakes from the sessions that produced the majority of tracks for the LP. Disc 2 features a previously unreleased concert from ' 1970 recorded on August 12. The 24-page booklet features an insightful essay, photos and memorabilia. This new 2-CD Legacy Edition of the album that accompanied the film directed by celebrates this memorable era in the career of with an expanded version of the original Gold-certified RCA release.
This giant 16-CD Galaxy set features Pepper at the peak of his powers. Most of the performances are in a quartet setting, although this collection also includes a session with strings, five unaccompanied alto solos (he also plays clarinet on a few tracks), and a pair of CDs in which Pepper performs duets with pianist George Cables. Although more general collectors may want to acquire some of the individual sessions first (most of which are available separately on CD), the more dedicated jazz fans are advised to save their money and acquire this essential package.