Promise Kept: The Complete Artists House Recordings
Release date: September 13, 2019
The Complete Art Pepper Artists House Sessions.
“Art Pepper had had a brilliant career as a jazz soloist and band leader until the mid-1950s when he started using heroin. After that, incarcerations and treatments in prisons and hospitals, kept him off the stages and out of the studios. He was only able to record sporadically until he got (relatively) sober in Synanon in 1972, and married Laurie—me. Then, in the last ten years of his life, he composed, recorded, and toured more ambitiously than ever before, focused on securing his place among the true jazz greats—where he knew he belonged.”—from the liner notes by Laurie Pepper
Producer John Snyder had always wanted to record Pepper and booked him into a week at the Village Vanguard in New York. At the time, Pepper was under contract to Contemporary Records and label head, Les Koenig, decided he would record the gigs, quashing any notion Snyder had of doing the same. However, Art promised Snyder that he’d record an album for Snyder’s label, Artists House, at some point down the road. Together they wound up making four.
Here for the first time are the complete Artists House sessions including 21 previously unissued takes. The original albums drawn from these sessions, So In Love, Artworks, New York Album, and Stardust, have been remastered and expanded with additional takes, some having appeared previously on releases such as The Complete Galaxy Recordings and Artists House—Complete (download only), while some appear here for the first time.
Laurie Pepper has provided liner notes and photographs she took at the sessions. Altogether, this is the most comprehensive window into the Artists House sessions ever likely to be.
“John and Art both kept their promises. John brought Art into the wider world; he put him on the road. Just as he said he would, he brought him to New York and to the Village Vanguard, got his picture in the papers, got him on the radio. From Art, John got his dearest wish. He made these 32 recordings.”—from the liner notes by Laurie Pepper
Straight No Chaser(Take 3) Blues For Blanche So In Love Diane Stardust Yesterdays(Take 2) Landscape Straight No Chaser(Take 4)* Body And Soul Anthropology(Take 2) Desafinado(Take 2) Donna Lee You Go To My Head Blues For Blanche(Alternate A) Desafinado(Take 1)* Anthropology(Take 1)* Donna Lee(Alternate A) Blues For Blanche(Alternate B) You Go To My Head(Alternate A)
A Night In Tunisia(Take 2) Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) Straight, No Chaser(Take 2) Duo Blues My Friend John Johnny’s Blues A Night In Tunisia(Take 1)* Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)(Clarinet) Straight, No Chaser(Take 1)* My Friend John(Alternate B)
My Friend John(Alternate A) Tin Tin Deo Stardust(Alternate A) In A Mellow Tone(Take 2) Art’s Sweet Blues But Beautiful(Take 1) You Go To My Head(Alternate B)* Yesterdays(Take 3)* Stardust(Alternate B)* In A Mellow Tone(Take 1)*
Blues For Blanche(Alternate C)* Yesterdays(Take 1) My Friend John(Take 1 – Long False Start)* My Friend John(Take 2 – False Start)* Blues For Blanche(Alternate D)* Stardust(Long False Start)* Donna Lee(Alternate B) But Beautiful(Take 2) A Night In Tunisia(Take 3) Blues For Blanche(Alternate E) Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)(Alternate Sax Take)*