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Peppery Jazz

Art Pepper LP.jpg



It's an hour (or as close as we can get) of music for you on this week's SoundXchange. An unbelievable line up of jazz musicians get together to perform the music of legendary saxophonist Art Pepper.

Art Pepper group small 3.jpgThe Art Pepper Project

'Trouble and turmoil'.were often the words used to describe the colourful and often chaotic life of one of the world's great American jazz saxophonists - Art Pepper. In spite of all struggles with drug addiction, jail time and numerous failed marriages, music was the constant that lifted him up time and time again, giving meaning to an otherwise frenetic life. And it is the spirit of his music that drew a very special gathering of western Canadian jazz musicians together to celebrate the music of Art Pepper, who started his career in the 1940s and succumbed to stroke in 1982. Pepper's career highlights include finishing second only to Charlie Parker as Down Beat magazines Best Alto Saxophonist in 1952. His output was legendary and his music is both highly accessible and instantly recognizable.

This concert features an all-star band that's been assembled from some of the best mid-career professionals from across the region. They have recently been granted access to the sheet music from the Art Pepper + 11 L.P. Today, this famous music is seldom (if ever) performed. The concert includes music from the album along with original Canadian compositions by members of the group.

Collectively the members of this tribute ensemble have attended McGill University, Princeton University, McEwan University, University of Toronto, New England Conservatory of Music, University of North Texas, St. Francis Xavier University, and Rutger's University, among others. They have played with the likes of Kenny Wheeler, Maynard Ferguson, Denzal Sinclaire, Tommy Banks, Randy Breker, Don Thompson, and Hugh Fraser.

Because one listen is just not enough, you can go to CBC Radio 2's Concerts on Demand website to hear more.