When Art was recording the wonderful Straight Life album for Fantasy/Galaxy, the pianist Tommy Flanagan had a slight problem with Art’s tune “Make a List (Make a Wish)”. The arrangement seemed unnecessarily complex to him. At least that’s what I surmised based on an ironic one-liner he tossed out. Art went over the chart with him. It took a while. When Art finished explaining the arrangement, Flanagan asked, “And then what do we do?” Art said, “Then we blow.” Tommy said, "Ohhhh, THEN we blow."
Sometimes Art’s arrangements were kind of complex, especially a few he wrote on the East Coast Tour in ’77 on his way to play at the Vanguard. “My Friend John” and “For Freddie” were two of those. They also swung beautifully and gave Art what all his original arrangements gave him, a sort of sculptor’s armature on which he played and wove his little stories. And he re-wrote both those charts after we got home—after the passionate drugged madness of the Vanguard session—to make them more playable.
Vanguard Max was really just a blues, but the arrangement, I think, was adorable if a little difficult. They NEVER got it right and Art never got around to rewriting it. This is an alternate track, only available on the complete Vanguard Box.
Anyway, here are the chart and the MUSIC for Vanguard Max. Pay nothing or support the release of more Art Pepper, more FREEBIES, by paying a buck or two if you can.