I did no jazz birthday yesterday. I'm doing only artists whose music I know and whose bio is accessible. Highly talented alto saxophonist Art Pepper developed his musical ability via a distinctive light sound, not too loud and not too full, a sound that matched his melodic style that is simpler than hard bop. It's a more cool West Coast sound. His playing, while not wild, conveys intense emotion and sometimes a quality of trying to express the inexpressible. It's easy to like -- and beautiful, and it always swings. Sometimes alto sax sounds whiny or hard, but Pepper's tone avoids these shoals by being softer and more conversational, in fact, he even says it's for him an expression like laughter and serves the same purpose. Pepper's life was stormy, as documented in Straight Life. This is a very honest account of his personal life, his drug addiction, and his prison time. He should have simply been left alone to use his drugs, a habit he could not really beat. Jazz fans will recognize that the rhythm section in this 1957 recording is what Miles played with for about 3 years.