Jim Pepper

Jim Pepper’s popular recording of “Witchi-Tai-To”, a peyote singing, will be remembered forever. Pepper is profiled in Pepper’s Pow Wow, an hour-long documentary that focuses on his Native American heritage. He infused jazz with advanced jazz. Pepper was the son of a saxophone player father and loved tap dancing early in his life. He learned clarinet and tenor largely by himself, and developed a soulful sound while allowing for freedom and incorporating world music influences. Pepper was born in Oklahoma, and moved to New York in mid-’60s. Pepper was part of Free Spirits, one of the first fusion bands, and he moved to New York in the mid-’60s. Dewey Redman and Charlie Haden, as well as Pepper’s own bands, worked with Jim Pepper. He recorded with Bob Moses and Paul Motian, and led one session each for Europa (1984), and Enja (1987). Pepper died from lymphoma at 50. Allmusic

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