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of a modal piece. It’s based on four changes that last four bars each. At the end, it goes into a bluesish feel for contrast and a down-home finish.” Following this exquisite reading at the Jazz Showcase, Pepper would record it one final time live at the YBC TV Hall, in Yamagata, Japan, on March 14, 1978. The Jazz Showcase reading of My Laurie” features Pepper really stretching out. While the original studio version was about eight¬-and-a-half minutes long, this extended version lasts 16 minutes. It begins as an introspective ballad, with Pepper alternating between powerful moans and languid phrases punctuated by some fiery, biting alto punctuations, over Pickens’ floating harmonic textures. Pickens’ improvisation is very laid- back and melodic, Art then returns for another solo. Roughly 11 minutes into the tune, the rhythm section swings into a laidback funky blues groove, which Pepper digs into with some truly impassioned blues playing. Only a handful of discographies make any mention of Pepper’s Jazz Showcase recordings. However, they only list the existence of the tracks “Pepper Pot” “My Laurie” and “The Trip” which is why many will be surprised by the inclusion here of these versions of “My Funny Valentine” and “Imagination”, which also belong to this Chicago performance. The Jazz Showcase reading of “My Funny Valentine” was the second in Pepper’s discography and the altoist’s only version as the only horn in a quartet setting. Pepper first recorded it on a July 26, 1976 quintet date under the leadership of Art Farmer, which would be released on the album On The Road. The Jazz Showcase reading follows in Pepper’s discography. It features some beautiful solo work by Art and Pickens, and sympathetic accompaniment by the band, with Campbell proving a highly sensitive ballad player. Following the Jazz Showcase reading, Pepper would next record the tune at a Hollywood session on July 30-31, 1980, in a quintet setting under the leadership of Sonny Stitt that would be released on the LP Atlas Blues, Blow & Ballade. Pepper would record it one final time in March 1981, as a member of a big band conducted by AI Capp for the soundtrack to the film Sharky’s Machine. Pepper first recorded the tune “Imagination” at his January 19, 1957 studio date for his legendary album Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, which featured Miles Davis’ rhythm section of that period: Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums. This Jazz Showcase version would be the next reading of the tune in Pepper’s discography, over 20 years later. It begins with a delicate piano intro followed by moving solos by Pepper, Pickens and Pepper again. He would record it for the final time,. on the aforementioned date with Sonny Stitt for the album Atlas Blues, Blow & Ballade. The concert’s final track “The Trip” is introduced by Pepper who states that he wrote it for John Coltrane and Elvin Jones. Again Pepper stretches out on this 17¬minute version, which is primarily a Phrygian vamp with a short bridge. He provides yet another outstanding solo followed by some inspired improvisational work from

Perkins and Rodby, who takes his first and only solo of the set. Pepper returns for another solo where Coltrane’s influence can be clearly heard. The first appearance of “The Trip” in Art’s discography is from a live television appearance on Ralph Gleason’s Jazz Casual TV show, in San Francisco on May 8, 1964. His next reading would be for the album by the same title. In the original album liner notes Pepper stated, “When I play, my hands and my mouth are not hands and mouth, they’re nothing but an extension of me, and the horn is the means instead of a voice. The sound that comes out of this thing, this piece of metal is just me saying these things and taking people on a trip. So I wrote this melody, and six-eight time fit itself to my mood. And that’s how I wrote ‘The Trip’. Whenever I play it, it has kind of a distant, sad, heartrending type feel to it, you know, but yet it’s swinging and it’s joyful in a sad type of way. In its own way, in its own sadness it’s happy and beautiful. Every time I play it, it’s like taking someone on a trip. And if the rhythm section is really right and together ... then it’s like a trip for everyone, like everyone is on this trip -- thinking and looking off into space, except they’re doing it with sounds:’ (That is definitely the case on this extended reading.) The tune would be recorded again live at the Bach Dynamite & Dancing Society in Half Moon Bay, on January 23, 1977. The Jazz Showcase version comes next, followed by a recording of the tune at The Village Vanguard twelve days later (July 28, 1977). The last two entries of the song in Pepper’s discography would both be recorded live in Japan: first at the YBC TV Hall, in Yamagata on March 14, 1 978 and then at the Shiba Yubin Chokin Hall in Tokyo on July 16, 1979. While the band sounds great throughout, this is clearly Pepper’s show. His playing is superb, imbuing each note with tremendous power and emotion. There’s a sense of complete self-control, never a rushed note or a well-worn

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