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Art Pepper & Chet Baker - The Route.

There is an old saying that goes "Don't judge a book by it's cover". Often times this is extremely helpful in the literary world. I would love to propose a new saying "Don't judge a recording by it's cover art."

Why? For so many years I have walked past this recording in many a music store and have always ignored it because 1. it's a Capitol release on CD and 2. the cover never really struck me as something great. How foolish I was!

Capitol has always been "The Home of Norberg" for me and that equates to a musical and mastering disaster. Ever since I heard the Norberg Sinatra re-issues I have steered away from anything Capitol. However, not long ago I heard he had left. After rejoicing, I slowly started looking at the Capitol catalog once again, albeit, rather cautiously.

The art work on this particular title never struck me as anything great. This is probably one of the main reasons I never picked it up and read what was on it. It wasn't until a great friend of mine gave me this CD as a gift that I finally decided to hear it.

The music itself is brilliant and sounds rather good. No surprise as the digital transfers were handled by the great Ron McMaster. No Norberg crap here! As I said before, the music is brilliant. No surprise as it contains two of the greatest brass players ever - Chet Baker on trumpet and Art Pepper on sax.

Most people are familiar with Chet Baker as there are many who know his signature tune "My Funny Valentine" or "Look For The Silver Lining" which is prominently featured all the time on movie channels (so I am told).

This album is not a real album in the sense that viewing the musical selections creates a cohesive whole. Rather, these are selections of fabulous music brought together for the first time. The origin of these recordings are from Pacific Jazz Records, an old record label that put out some fantastic jazz albums back in the day. Here you get 8 selections in Stereo and 3 in Mono. Don't let the mono selections bring you down as 1. they only exist in mono and 2. the sound fantastic as well. Both Pepper and Baker play with style and force. Both shine through each performance and the music flows with ease and swing.

If your a jazz fan, you owe it to yourself to buy this fantastic album. The best part is that it can be had for under $10.00!!! Considering the talent, the music and sound quality - it's a steal. Go buy it now!

Edited by LFF - 5/7/10 at 1:52am