© 2022 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Music Of Art Pepper

Dennis Owsley
Copyright Dennis C. Owsley
Jimmy Cobb-2008

Jazz Unlimited for May 6, 2018 will be “The Music of Art Pepper.”  Born in California to violent alcoholic parents, alto saxophonist Art Pepper was not only one of the greatest players in jazz on his horn, but also one of it’s most tragic figures because of his need to self-medicate himself to escape the horrors of his childhood.  As a result of this, Pepper was incarcerated four times between 1951 and 1966.  He had two careers, the first before 1962 and the second after treatment with methadone, drug treatment at Synanon and his marriage to his third wife Laurie.  His second career was influenced by the concepts of John Coltrane.  We will hear him with Stan Kenton, two Miles Davis rhythm sections, Helen Humes, Shorty Rogers, Chet Baker, a string ensemble, Sonny Stitt, Shelly Manne, Marty Paich, Bill Perkins, Pete Jolly, Buddy Rich, Joe Morello, Milcho Leviev and his own ensembles.

The Slide show has a photo of Jimmy Cobb, heard on this show.

The Archive of this show will be available until the morning of May 13, 2018.

This is a video of "Make A List, Make A Wish" by Art Pepper (as) Milcho Leviev (p) Bob Magnusson (b) and Carl Burnett (d) in 1981 in Rome.

Dennis Owsley has broadcast a weekly jazz show for St. Louis Public Radio since April 1983. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and is a retired Monsanto Senior Science Fellow and college teacher. His show, Jazz Unlimited, airs every Sunday from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. The show has the largest jazz audience in St. Louis and was named Best Jazz Radio Show in St. Louis for the years 2005-2007 and 2009 by the Riverfront Times. In celebration of his 25 years on the air, January 24, 2008 was proclaimed Dennis Owsley Day" in the City of St. Louis. He is the 2010 winner of the St. Louis Public Radio Millard S. Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award. Dennis is also a noted photographer, and his exhibit, In the Moment: Photographs of Jazz Musicians, ran from September 23, 2005 to January 21, 2006 at the Sheldon Art Gallery. He is a lifetime student of jazz history and teaches short courses on the subject. Dennis is the author of the award-winning book City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis 1985-1973, published in 2006.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.