- A Big, Bold and Lively copy, with each side rating a Double Plus (A++) or BETTER for this exceptionally well recorded album
- The sound is rich, warm and full-bodied, both clear and open — the brass sounds phenomenal on this pressing
- Here is the Tubey Magic of the originals without the problems that make the average original so much less involving
- A longtime audiophile favorite – 5 stars on Allmusic: “This is a true classic. Essential music for all serious jazz collections.”
This Contemporary Yellow Label LP has got that Modern Jazz Classics Magic. On a great copy such as this one you can really pick out each of the musicians and follow them throughout the course of the track. When you’re able to appreciate everyone’s contributions you really get a sense of how much work went into the making of this album. It’s nothing short of epic.
This is one DYNAMIC jazz record — drop the needle on any track and prepare yourself to be very impressed. The sound is full-bodied and energetic with tight bass, breathy brass, and lots of ambience.
What these amazing West Coast Jazz sides have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1959
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments of the band (check out the list below) having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
- No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above
I used to get those original Contemporary pressings in all the time, but few of them are mastered right and most never make it to the site. Some are pure muck. Some have bass so bloated it defies description. And where’s the presence? Over the years we’ve dropped the needle on more than a few Black Label original copies and were entirely underwhelmed every time.
Marty Paich, Brilliant Arranger
The amazing Marty Paich did the arrangements for this group of top musicians. As far as big band goes it doesn’t get much better than this. If I had to pick one big band album to take to my desert island it might very well be this one. The arrangements are lively and everyone seems to be having a good time in the studio.
Marty was one of the most sought-after arrangers back in the day. In discogs there are currently 512 listings under his name for writing and arranging.
Many consider this to be the best record Art Pepper ever made, along with Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section, and it’s hard to argue with either title as both are superb and deserve a place in any audiophile’s collection. I would add Art Pepper Today to that list, and fortunately we do get copies in from time to time.
Art Pepper — alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet
Pete Candoli — trumpet
Al Porcino — trumpet
Jack Sheldon — trumpet
Dick Nash — trombone
Bob Enevoldsen — valve trombone, tenor saxophone
Vince DeRosa — French horn
Herb Geller — alto saxophone
Bud Shank — alto saxophone
Charlie Kennedy — alto saxophone
Bill Perkins — tenor saxophone
Richie Kamuca — tenor saxophone
Med Flory — baritone saxophone
Russ Freeman — piano
Joe Mondragon — bass
Mel Lewis — drums
Marty Paich — arranger, conductor