Pepper, Art + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics (Contemporary 70th Series) LP
2021 marked 70 years of Contemporary Records, the Los Angeles-based audiophile jazz label that both defined and radically expanded the sound of West Coast jazz. Throughout the '50s, '60s and '70s, Lester Koenig's artist-friendly company released career-defining performances by some of modern jazz's most influential and accomplished improvisers, including Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Hampton Hawes, Art Pepper, Harold Land, Shelly Manne and Teddy Edwards. In celebrating the history of this essential label and its exceptional catalog, Craft Recordings is releasing a variety of content throughout the coming year. In the aftermath of Charlie Parker, no alto saxophonist blazed a more brilliant alternative path than Art Pepper, who forged a lyrical detour bypassing bebop despite his love of Bird. The L.A. native poured his tormented soul into his horn, recording a series of classic albums between stints in prison due to his addiction to heroin. His Contemporary sessions rank among his very best work. Pepper's classic big band album +Eleven features modern jazz classics by Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and more. First released in 1960 and recorded by legendary engineers Roy DuNann and Howard Holzer, this new edition features all-analog mastering from the original tapes by Bernie Grundman. The record is pressed on 180-gram vinyl at QRP and presented in a Stoughton Old Style Tip-On Jacket.