Most Valued Player: Art Pepper
by Nic Jones
The seminal figures in jazz have always inspired dedicated followers, musicians for whom an individual's playing has been the first and last word on the subject. Charlie Parker, wildly unbalanced as an individual yet also the seminal figure in the music after Louis Armstrong, inspired a legion of alto sax players all of whom were enthralled by some aspect of his musicianship. In his time the number of alto players who were not influenced by him could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Art Pepper was one of them.