Review by Andrew Bartlett (amazon.com)
After prison, after first shocking, then disappointing, and perhaps ultimately (and grimly) amusing the jazz world with enough dope-related hijinks to fill a book (as in Straight Life), alto saxist Art Pepper made a triumphant mid-1970s comeback. This 1979 session is rich with the fruits of Pepper’s return, a depth of playing that shows itself constantly throughout the New York Album’s five tunes. Pepper, as his widow, Laurie, notes in the liners, was always best when out to prove himself. Here, he’s out to show pianist Hank Jones, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Al Foster that he’s still a force to reckon with. “A Night in Tunisia” is fascinating, if a trifle straightly read, as is “Straight, No Chaser.” The best bits here, though, are Pepper’s yearning solo rendition of “Lover Man,” the piano-bass duo on “Duo Blues,” and the blazing, off-time take on “My Friend John,” one of the leader’s funkiest charts ever. This reissue of New York is additionally bolstered by terrific audiophile sound, the hallmark of Analogue Productions’ work in the jazz world.
01 – A Night in Tunisia
02 – Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be)
03 – Straight, No Chaser (alternate take)
04 – Duo Blues
05 – My Friend John
Art Pepper – alto saxophone
Hank Jones – piano (except on “Duo Blues”)
Ron Carter – bass (except on “Lover Man”)
Al Foster – drums (except on “Duo Blues” and “Lover Man”)
Recorded February 23, 1979 at Sound Ideas, NYC;
and May 26, 1979 at Kendum Recorders, Burbank, CA.
Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork