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Art Pepper

Art Pepper may not be a recognizable figure to the general public, but he is a bright shining star in the jazz world. Pepper, of San Pedro, California was a child prodigy who fell in love with the music of Lester Young. As a teen, he was featured in Lee Young's (Lester's brother) band and with the great Benny Carter. Segregation forbade his touring with them so he joined Stan Kenton's group and quickly became a featured soloist. Pepper shared Stan Getz's good looks and an ability to fit into any musical situation yet retain his own voice, and became an in-demand session player and a solo star. Heroin claimed Pepper for well over a decade and he spent a substantial part of his life in and out of jail and recovery homes. In the '70s he picked his career up and released a string of excellent albums showing a new, tougher style. His biting autobiography, "Straight Life," is closer to literature than the usual celebrity tell-all; it may be the most self-critical, least flattering autobiography ever written.

Art Pepper Concert Films

  • Notes from a Jazz Survivor

    Art Pepper

    Year: 1985

    Runtime: 49 min

    An intensely personal and sometimes painful look into the fascinating world of Art Pepper. One of Jazz' greatest alto saxophonists and most expressive soloists, Pepper was also a thief, drug addict, alcoholic, womanizer, and world renown wildman. In candid interviews he recounts his triumphs, troubles, and luck in meeting Laurie, his last wife. For half the film Pepper leads a trio in a Malibu nightclub, the set includes: "Red Car", "Patricia", and "Miss Who?".

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