From his early recordings with Stan Kenton’s and Shorty Rogers’ bands and sessions with everyone from Chet Baker, Henry Mancini and Quincy Jones, to his own recordings, like classics made for the Contemporary and Galaxy Record labels, Art Pepper built a legacy of recordings that can only be described as legendary. Thankfully, he also left us a narrative, tracing the history of his life, a roadmap with details of his great recordings in the shape of a book, Straight Life (DaCapo, 1979), which Art and his wife, Laurie authored together.
Omnivore Recordings now partners with Widow’s Taste Records, Laurie Pepper’s own label, to release Neon Art, a series of live recordings on colored vinyl, complete with download cards. Neon Art is aimed at both the longtime Art Pepper aficionado and those just coming to know Art’s work.
Neon Art: Volume One features two songs drawn from unissued performances at Parnell’s in Seattle, WA, recorded on January 28, 1981. Side one features a funky romp on Art’s composition, “Red Car,” while side two showcases another Pepper composition, “Blues For Blanche.” Volume One will be released on red vinyl.
“Our mission is to introduce unreleased and unheard Art to people who love him, as well as to people who don’t yet know him,” says Laurie Pepper. “Art hated the idea that people put jazz in a pigeonhole. He wanted to make people forget the categories and ‘make them open up and listen.’” We feel the same way at Omnivore and now proudly present to you: Art Pepper!