Art Pepper

Landscape: Live in Tokyo ’79

After two decades of drug abuse—and doing time in San Quentin for it—then three years of rehabbing in Synanon, alto saxophonist Art Pepper enjoyed a rebirth in 1975. This 1979 CD, recorded live in Tokyo, features him in company with George Cables (“my favorite piano player”), bassist Tony Dumas and drummer Billy Higgins just three years before Pepper’s death at 56. A fiery player, Pepper mostly takes it easy here on a program that includes “Straight Life” (the title of his searing autobiography) and a lively “Avalon.” “Over the Rainbow” (long one of his favorites) gets an exceptionally lovely treatment, and on “Sometime” he plays clarinet. An audiophile’s delight, this pricey ($31) Japanese import (with untranslated liner notes) uses a 24-bit super analog process that really delivers!