Watching Bosch leads to the Music of Art Pepper
Last night my wife and I finished watching the first season of Bosch on Amazon Prime. The series is based on the books of Michael Connelly featuring LA Detective Harry Bosch. If you haven’t seen it do, because it’s really, really good. I have not read many of the Harry Bosch books, but what I have read I have enjoyed, and there are three of them on my TBR shelves! Michael Connelly is the executive producer of the show and I’m sure he has a lot of say over the way Harry is portrayed, which makes the series that much better!
Anyway, in several of the episodes Harry has been listening to his favorite genre of music – jazz. In the final episode, there was some saxophone playing and I wasn’t sure who was playing. At one point Harry told his daughter it was Art Pepper and the song was “Patricia”. A song Pepper wrote for his daughter, because he missed her. After the show was over, I went first to Spotify to find the song. I found it on the album The Return of Art Pepper. However, the definitive version of “Patricia” originally appeared on the album Art Pepper Today released in 1979.
After finding the song, I went to Wikipedia to find out more about Art Pepper. Pepper is one of the many jazz artist whose name I know, but I know little about their lives or their music.Pepper played the alto saxophone and clarinet. From Wikipedia…
Art Pepper was born in Gardena, California, on September 1, 1925. His mother was a 14-year-old runaway; his father, a merchant seaman. Both were violent alcoholics, and when Art was still quite young he was sent to live with his paternal grandmother…
Pepper’s professional music career began when he was only 17, when he played with Benny Carter and then a member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra. His career was interrupted when he was drafted in 1943. He resumed his career after the war and….
….By the 1950s Pepper was recognized as one of the leading alto saxophonists in jazz, epitomized by his finishing second only to Charlie Parker as Best Alto Saxophonist in the Down Beat magazine Readers Poll of 1952. Along with Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and Shelly Manne, and perhaps due more to geography than playing style, Pepper is often associated with the musical movement known as West Coast jazz, as contrasted with the East Coast (or “hot”) jazz of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Some of Pepper’s most famous albums from the 1950s are Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Art Pepper + Eleven – Modern Jazz Classics, Gettin’ Together, and Smack Up. Representative music from this time appears on The Aladdin Recordings (three volumes), The Early Show, The Late Show, The Complete Surf Ride, and The Way It Was!, which features a session recorded with Warne Marsh….
….His career was repeatedly interrupted by several prison stints stemming from his addiction to heroin, but Pepper managed to have several memorable and productive “comebacks.” Remarkably, his substance abuse and legal travails did not affect the quality of his recordings, which maintained a high level of musicianship throughout his career until his death from a brain hemorrhage in 1982. Full Biography at Wikipedia.
I found it interesting that Pepper lived for many years in the hills of Echo Park, in Los Angeles. The area where Harry Bosch lives and works!
So Check Out Bosch on Amazon Prime and Art Pepper at some of the following links…..As for me, I have to get reading those Michael Connelly books on my TBR shelves!!
Links to Further Explorations of the Music of Art Pepper
Here’s the version of “Patricia” from Art Pepper Today.