Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section

Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section is a 1957 jazz album by saxophonist Art Pepper with Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones, who at the time were the rhythm section for Miles Davis's quintet. The album is considered a milestone in Pepper's career.[1][2]

Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section
Studio album by
Art Pepper
Released1957 (1957)
RecordedJanuary 19, 1957
LabelContemporary/Original Jazz Classics
ProducerLester Koenig
Art Pepper chronology
Modern Art
Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section
Mucho Calor


According to Pepper, the album was recorded under enormous pressure, as he first learned of the recording session the morning he was due in the studio, and he had never met the other musicians, all of whom he greatly admired.[1][3]:192-195 He was playing on an instrument in a bad state of repair, and was suffering from a drug problem.[3]:192-195 Purportedly, Pepper had not played the saxophone for some time, either for two weeks (according to the liner notes), or six months (according to Pepper's autobiography Straight Life),[3]:192-195 although the discography in Straight Life indicates that Pepper had recorded many sessions in the previous weeks, including one five days earlier.[3]:524-525


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic [4]
Penguin Guide to Jazz (Core Collection) [5][6]
The All Music Guide [1]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[8]

Michael G. Nastos of AllMusic called the recording "a classic east meets west, cool plus hot but never lukewarm combination that provides many bright moments for the quartet during this exceptional date from that great year in music, 1957."[4]

Brian Morton and Richard Cook, writing for The Penguin Jazz Guide (10th ed.), described Meets the Rhythm Section as "a poetic, burning date, with all four men playing above themselves…. Between them, they'd delivered a masterpiece."[9] In previous Penguin Guide editions, the album was included in the "Core Collection," and received a four-star rating (of a possible four stars).[5][6]

Becky Byrkit, writing for The All Music Guide, deemed the album "a diamond of recorded jazz history."[1]

New York Times critic Ben Ratliff described Meets the Rhythm Section as "an honest record; if you believe the story of its making, you'd have to conclude that Pepper, unprepared and unarmored, was forced to pull the music out of himself, since tepid run-throughs and stock licks weren't going to work in such exalted company."[10]

Track listing

  1. "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" (Cole Porter) – 5:25
  2. "Red Pepper Blues" (Art Pepper, Red Garland) – 3:37
  3. "Imagination" (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke) – 5:52
  4. "Waltz Me Blues" (Art Pepper, Paul Chambers) – 2:56
  5. "Straight Life" (Art Pepper) – 3:59
  6. "Jazz Me Blues" (Tom Delaney) – 4:47
  7. "Tin Tin Deo" (Gil Fuller, Chano Pozo) – 7:42
  8. "Star Eyes" (Gene de Paul, Don Raye) – 5:12
  9. "Birks' Works" (Dizzy Gillespie) – 4:17
  10. "The Man I Love" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 6:36 [added to the remastered recording in 2002]
(Recorded on January 19, 1957 at Contemporary's Studios, Los Angeles.)



  1. Byrkit, Becky (2001). Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine (eds.). The All Music Guide. AllMusic (4th ed.). p. 1358. ISBN 0879306270. Retrieved 20 February 2015.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  2. Yanow, Scott (2000). Bebop. Miller Freeman. p. 327. ISBN 0879306084. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  3. Pepper, Art; Laurie Pepper (1994) [1979]. Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper. Schirmer. ISBN 0306805588. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  4. Nastos, Michael G.. Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section at AllMusic
  5. Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 1043. ISBN 0-1410-2327-9.
  6. Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2008) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (9th ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 1142. ISBN 978-0-14-103401-0.
  7. Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 160. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  8. Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  9. Morton, Brian; Richard Cook (2010) [1992]. The Penguin Jazz Guide: The History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (10th ed.). New York: Penguin. pp. 200–201. ISBN 978-0-14-104831-4.
  10. Ratliff, Ben (2002). "47. ART PEPPER: Art Pepper meets The Rhythm Section". The New York Times Essential Library: Jazz: A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings. Times Books. pp. 121–123. ISBN 0805070680. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
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