Timed for release at the same time as his painfully honest autobiography of the same name, Straight Life put Art Pepper together with three distinguished musicians who supported him with attentiveness and driving power. Drummer Billy Higgins had recorded with Pepper before. But pianist Tommy Flanagan had not. Nor, oddly, had bassist Red Mitchell, despite his and Pepper's both having been prominent on the California scene of the 1950s. Regardless, they all spoke the same musical language and did so on this date with rare eloquence. Included is Pepper's intricate "Make a List, Make a Wish" and new versions of two of his 1950s compositions, "Surf Ride" and "Straight Life." The compact disc contains an extra track, "Long Ago and Far Away."
with Tommy Flanagan, Red Mitchell, Billy Higgins, Kenneth Nash