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Art Pepper: Notes from a Jazz Survivor 1982

  • December 31, 1982
  • 48 mins
  • Don McGlynn
  • English
  • Documentary, Crime, Music

Saxophonist Art Pepper (1925-1982) lived the kind of jazz life only found in Hollywood movies. His prodigious talent led him to top gigs as a teenager, but drugs and attendant criminal activity knocked him out of commission for virtually all of the 1960s and early 1970s. This documentary, shot shortly after his searing memoir, {-Straight Life}, was published in 1979, shows Pepper in the full flower of a remarkable comeback. His third wife, Laurie, is featured prominently; they met in the drug treatment facility Synanon in 1969 and were married in 1974. She took over his business affairs and helped him write {-Straight Life}. Pepper tells his own story here, but the emphasis is on an evening's performance at a club in Malibu, with the musician in fine form, backed by a terrific trio. (Tom Wiener, Rovi)

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