Remembering Jim Pepper

Remembering Jim Pepper

by Chuck FlorenceChuck Florence


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The difference between Chuck Florence's first session as a leader, 1992's Home on the Range, and 1999's Remembering Jim Pepper may be a little startling, at least on the surface. Home on the Range is a fairly straight-ahead session, but listen closer and it's clear that Florence is a dynamic, adventurous saxophonist -- even when he played a standard like "Besame Mucho," he took it in unpredictable directions. On Remembering Jim Pepper, he embraces that maverick sprit and runs with it, resulting in a rich, satisfying album that works even for listeners unfamiliar with the subject of the tribute. Pepper was one of the leading lights of Native American jazz, and he fused hard bop with R&B and Native American folk music. Florence picks up on each strand on this terrific record, which was record live in concert at the Myrna Loy Theater in Helena, MT, on August 25, 1995. In the liner notes, Florence affirms a quotation from Pepper: "Improvisation...was not, for me, sitting in a row with ten other jokers playing the same thing. It was about expressing myself." That is the driving force on this record, and the entire band (drummer George Schuller, vocalist/alto saxophonist Nicole Kampgen, bassist/vocalist Ed Schuller, and guitarist Craig Hall) takes this attitude to heart. Amazingly, even when the music is at its densest -- and it can get quite complex -- it is never cluttered or overwhelming. In fact, it's inviting. Some listeners might find that the vocals and chants may take them out of the groove, but that's their loss, since it's part of a complex tapestry of sounds and styles that is a tribute not only to Pepper's musical aesthetic but to Florence's abilities as a musician and leader.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/01/2008
Label: Cd Baby
UPC: 0660355346620
catalogNumber: 5637250238
Rank: 92358


  1. Lakota Song
  2. Funny Glasses and a Mustache
  3. Ghana Folk Song
  4. WItchi-Tai-Toe
  5. Remembrance
  6. Mr. D.C.
  7. Drakumba

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