Down Beat (8/01, p.74) - 4.5 stars out of 5 - "...Superb....one of his most incandescent recorded performances....flawless and fluent..."
Personnel: Art Pepper (alto saxophone); Red Garland (piano); Paul Chambers (acoustic bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on January 19, 1957. Originally released on Contemporary (7532). Includes liner notes by Lester Koenig.
In the 1950s, Miles Davis assembled one of the premier rhythm sections in jazz. His pre-Bill Evans group, consisting of pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones (heard on such albums as ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT and MILESTONES) was hard to beat. The way they performed together was remarkable, at once musically conversational and nearly telepathic in their collective thinking.
On this unusual '57 outing, "West Coast cool" alto saxophonist Art Pepper teams up with these great rhythm players. The result is a seamless match of styles and approaches that showcases the skills of all four master musicians. Highlights include the burning-fast Pepper original "Straight Life" and the endearing "Red Pepper Blues," a tune composed by Red Garland just five hours prior to the recording session.