1 September 1925, Gardena, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 15 June 1982, Panorama City, California, USA. Pepper started out on clarinet at the age of nine, switching to alto saxophone four years later. After appearing in school groups, he first played professionally with Gus Arnheims band. During his mid-teens he developed his jazz style sitting in with otherwise all-black bands along Los Angeles Central Avenue. After leaving Arnheim he worked with Dexter Gordon in Lee Youngs band at the Club Alabam. He then joined Benny Carter, playing alongside artists such as Gerald Wilson, Freddie Webster and J.J. Johnson. In 1943 Pepper joined Stan Kenton but soon afterwards was drafted into the US Army, spending most of his wartime service in England.
In 1946 Pepper rejoined Kenton, staying with the band until 1951. That year he also recorded with Shorty Rogers, playing a marvellous version of Over The Rainbow, a tune he...
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