Art Pepper – …The Way It Was – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

More Art Pepper

…The Way It Was (2013)


A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Contemporary Yellow Label 2-pack has WONDERFUL SOUND AND MUSIC and QUIET VINYL ON BOTH SIDES! It’s airy, open, and spacious with superb clarity and an extended top end. The beautiful reading of Autumn Leaves on side two is DEMO DISC QUALITY! Both of the copies in this White Hot 2-pack have one side rated A+++ and one side that just didn’t meet our standards, so we combined them to give you excellent sound for the entire album.

The piano sounds Right On The Money — it’s weighty and full-bodied, just like a real piano sounds. That’s something we’ve come to expect from these Contemporary recordings that we almost never hear on anything but the best Blue Notes. The horns are airy and breathy with the proper amount of bite. All The Things You Are sounds lovely here — relaxed and musical.

Side one of this album is made up of unreleased material Art recorded with Warne Marsh, the tenor. It’s great to hear Art play against another sax man. Fans of straight ahead mainstream jazz will find much to enjoy here. Of course the Contemporary studio sound is wonderful — it’s yet another triumph for one of our favorite engineers, Roy DuNann.

Side two is made up of material that was left off of other albums recorded from 1957 to 1960. The sound varies from track to track, but most of it sounds wonderful. Just listen to how punchy the kick drum sounds during the drum solo in The Man I Love. The clarity is superb and you can really hear the leading edge transients on the sax. There’s plenty of deep, well-defined bass and lots of extension on the top end.

Autumn Leaves sounds OUT OF THIS WORLD here — full of life and energy with bass that is NOTE-LIKE PERFECTION. The overall sound is open and spacious with lots of ambience and texture to the various instruments.


Side One

I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me 
All the Things You Are 
What’s New? 
Tickle Toe

Side Two

The Man I Love 
Autumn Leaves 
The Way You Look Tonight

AMG  Review

Despite his very erratic lifestyle, altoist Art Pepper never made a bad record. This collection is better than most. The first four titles team together Pepper with tenor-saxophonist Warne Marsh, pianist Ronnie Ball, bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Gary Frommer for generally intriguing explorations of four standards… The success of the Pepper-Marsh frontline makes one wish that they had recorded together again. The other three selections are leftovers from a trio of classic Pepper albums and all are quite worthwhile.