Alto Saxophonist Art Pepper, a native of Gardena California, played in the overtly emotional manner that came to define the West Coast style. His solo approach was always passionate, from early recordings made with Stan Kenton's orchestra during his years with the band (1943 and 1946-52) and in jam sessions on LA’s Central Avenue.
Records and club work with Shorty Rogers and his Giants beginning in 1951 provided more room for his solo skills, and by 1952 he began cutting more intimate and open quartet and quintet sessions under his own name. By this time he had already developed a dependence on alcohol, pills, and heroin that led to an erratic lifestyle and (in 1952) the first of several arrests and incarcerations.
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