Saturday, September 5, 2015

View From the Bridge

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

A new video from Nice has just been posted on YouTube: It's Dick Hyman's New York Jazz Repertory Company in the summer of 1978. They're playing a tribute to Count Basie. This is the last video in which Pepper and Bob Wilber are seen playing together and both have solos. Wilber plays a great clarinet solo beginning at 3:02 and Pepper's only solo is at the 24:18 mark on "Broadway."

Also posted is this great Dick Hyman tribute to Duke Ellington, done the summer before, with Wilber and Pepper also in the band together:  Be sure to check out Pepper's amazing solo on "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo," the first of the concert. After Pepper's first few notes, you'll notice Eddie Daniels and Bob Wilber's delight in Pepper's solo--how harmonically daring it is in the context of a 1920s Ellington piece. Another equally great moment is Wilber and then Pepper's back-to-back eight-bar statements in "Blue Goose." Tenor saxophonist and Detroit compatriot Billy Mitchell is so utterly impressed with Pepper's articulation of the passage that he gives Pepper a round of applause, much to Pepper's delight.

It's been quite a week for me listening to Pepper and performances of Pepper's music. Other than the above videos, just a few days ago I found the set of DVDs that Tony Faulkner ( filmed while we were touring throughout North America in the Fall of 2013. This is the first time I'm seeing these! I've only made my way thus far through the Altsys Orchestra's tentet performance from Montreal in November, 2013. (See I'm eager to get these posted on YouTube soon. This very fine, hard swinging ensemble, led by alto saxophonist Jennifer Bell and trumpeter Bill Mahar (, did a wonderful concert of Tony Faulkner charts (except for Diabolique II, arranged by Mahar). A heartfelt thanks to Andrew Homzy for helping make this concert happen. Here are the tunes they performed:

1. Conjuration
2. Dobbin'
3. Urban Dreams
4. Ad Astra
5. Freddie Froo
6. Philson
7. Diabolique II
8. Unknown encore

                      (Jennifer Bell)

                            (Bill Mahar)

                            (Tony Faulkner)

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