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Died On This Date (June 15, 1982) Art Pepper / Jazz Sax Great

Posted by themusicsover on June 15, 2010

Art Pepper
September 1, 1925 – June 15, 1982

artpepperArt Pepper was one of West Coast Jazz’s great saxophone players of the ’40s and ’50s, sharing the stage with the likes of Benny Carter and Stan Kenton, and later, Buddy Rich.  Unfortunately, Pepper was addicted to heroin and served approximately twelve years spread over four separate terms throughout the late ’50s and early ’60s, even serving two in San Quentin.  No doubt due to these breaks in his career, he was never able to reach the heights he might have.  Art Pepper died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 56.

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2 Responses to “Died On This Date (June 15, 1982) Art Pepper / Jazz Sax Great”

  1. Dennis Olivares said

    Poor Art. Like Lucky Thompson, he never allowed his style to evolve into a linear, truly musical level; both were UNLUCKY in that regard. That awful video clip does not feature anywhere near his best work, although it appears to have been shot where I last saw him at the Kool Jazz Festival in Washington, DC just a few months before he died.
    THERE he was on stage performing with ZOOT SIMS and it was BEAUTIFUL! He made an introductory joke about how he and Zoot used to practice together as kids and how Zoot “sounded even better than Prez.” The nervous laughter that followed belied the truth because Sims had long since eclipsed Lester Young by the time I heard him there with Art in 1982. And I was almost able to PROVE it, but I had my high-end portable stereo recorder and camera confiscated by those humorless thugs providing “security” at the event.
    Now, we’ll never know, but I heard enough of Art Pepper that day to inquire more into his recordings and to become a fan in all the years that followed.

  2. Dennis Olivares said

    Rest easy….

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