the art trip
A new project dedicated to the work of alto saxophonist Art Pepper
Alan Barnes - Alto
Craig Milverton - Piano
Al Swainger - Double Bass
Nick Millward - Drums
Extract from sleeve notes:
"Art Pepper first came into my life when I was around 15, through a double album entitled Art Pepper - Discoveries, recorded in the early '50s. I'd never heard of him. It had a painting of a good looking young man with an alto saxophone on the cover and lots of the titles were named after herbs and spices - Art's Oregano, Thyme Time, Cinnamon, Nutmeg - it seemed strange and exotic; I thought at the time, perhaps it was something to do with his being called Pepper.
The alto sax playing sprang out of those LPs. It was so clear, virtuosic and accurate - a beautiful, fresh, full of life sound that danced over the time in a light and subtle, yet intensely probing way. There was a lonely, yearning quality to his playing on the ballads that really reached out to the listener... I'd heard many of the world's greatest saxophonists on records, and still loved them, but from that moment one thing was clear: for me, that was how the alto saxophone should be played.
A handful of years later I saw Art Pepper at Ronnie Scott's club….The first shock was the different sound of the saxophone. It was darker and thicker in tone with a new emotional depth to it…. The beautiful clarity, tuning and stunning double timing were still there, but when the music reached a certain, almost frightening, emotional intensity and there seemed nowhere else to go, he would move right out there - playing free, spitting out distorted notes in a furious passion. ... I've never seen anyone more involved or determined and it showed what's possible in a jazz performance.…riveting, overwhelming, honest, disturbing and quite profound.
These two different periods of the same musician's life were separated by years of drug and alcohol addiction and lengthy stays in prisons and a drug rehabilitation centre. However harrowing these experiences, however long he was off the scene, Art always played superbly well in a series of come-backs throughout his life. His final re-emergence, beginning in 1977, really gathered momentum, producing some of the finest playing of his career and gaining him the worldwide recognition that he had always sought. He continued to perform until he was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died in June of 1982."
Alan Barnes, September 2011
Contact Al Swainger on 01392 436037 / 07859027973 or email: email@example.com
"Art's original recordings were invariably uplifting and tinged with genuine humour and it's these characteristics that this spirited foursome has taken into account while endeavouring to make this collection so highly attractive. By no stretch of the imagination is this a half hearted cop-out but a genuine celebratory affair that does credit to all those involved and Art Pepper's memory."
– Roy Carr, Jazzwise
"An album of pure class. Four brilliant musicians playing at the top of their game and recommended to all lovers of good jazz without hesitation. Loved every minute of it and it is already on my list of the best releases of 2012... It sounds like you all have a great deal of fun and that, for me, is the mark of a true classic in the making. "
– Alan Musson, Jazz Kaleidoscope 102.5 The 'Bridge
"Tribute albums tend to linger creatively in an acknowledged past, but this album bursts with the vitality of a new creative presence."
– Digby Fairweather
"Four top class musicians have combined to produce a masterpiece...This CD is excellent and thoroughly recommended as a must buy for all discerning jazz fans"
– George Giles, Devon Jazz Diary
"More than impressed - it swings - it has musicality in spades - it all really works, a joy."
"My daughters love it! L... will pick up the case and hand it to F... who puts it on - as soon as it starts so does the dancing;)))"
"Having collected over the years a large collection of cd's by the brilliant Alan Barnes, I must say I put this particular one at the very top. Being a long time admirer of the late great Art Pepper, this cd was made for me."
"Stylish and tasteful playing by all, well presented and well recorded."
"It is impossible to pick the best moments of this recording. There are thirteen tracks of musical perfection. I am a big fan of Alan Barnes’ ballad playing and “Imagination” provides a fine example. ”Our Song” is another wonderful track."
"If you only purchase one modern mainstream jazz recording this year make it this one."
"I'm not a musician, far from it and my knowledge of Art Pepper is limited but I really like music. This is an album you can play over and over and not get bored or frustrated. It soothes my brain and makes me smile. There are some enjoyable solos but with none of that 'self indulgance' found with some jazz. If you like music you shouldn't be disappointed:-)"
"I was pleasantly suprised when I popped this one in the player, it's one for all the family for a little boogie or some chill time in front of the fire. Definitely one for the collection, thanks!"
"Loved the gig at Cowes...Been playing the ‘The Art Trip’ pretty well non-stop since that evening. Fabulous!"