This is the same album as the famous and highly-collectable Playboys record - the one with the pinup model on the cover. However, for legal reasons, Pure Pleasure was not allowed to use that name or cover shot for this reissue. But the music remains...
The renamed title, Picture of Heath, comes from the fact that more than half of the tracks here are Jimmy Heath compositions. These are the third sessions to feature the dynamic duo of Art Pepper (alto sax) and Chet Baker (trumpet). The supporting cast here includes Curtis Counce on bass, Phil Urso on tenor sax, Carl Perkins on piano and Larance Marable on drums. These high energy sides are perfect both for bop connoisseurs and mainstream jazz fans.
This is another in Pure Pleasure's Candid Series, featuring reissues from an incredible label that met its demise some 40 years ago. The American Candid label has achieved a near legendary status among the critics and the International jazz and blues public. The series was born in 1960 when Archie Bleyer, owner of the Cadence label decided to indulge his love of jazz and blues and create his own line - called Candid. Archie approached Nat Hentoff - a likeable and knowledgeable critic, author and journalist active in New York at the time. Hentoff accepted the challenge of producing the albums and history was made. However, the label went out of business in 1961 and remained that way for a quarter of a century. Then Alan Bates acquired the masters and renamed his Black Lion Productions company Candid. Bates made the Candid titles available again on CD. These Candid titles were very well recorded and the performances generally are stunning. Great sound and music.
"Picture of Heath – recorded in 1956 as Playboys, then forced into a title change (Hugh Hefner threatened to sue) – finds Pepper teamed with trumpeter Chet Baker, and it's one of those 'West Coast' jazz recordings that you sit back and let hit you like an ocean wave; up-tempo, fleet-fingered, straight-ahead, and swinging-till-you-drop. The artists make an appealing pair. Baker blows his trumpet with a piercing zest that will startle those who know only his warmed-over Miles-styled balladry. Pepper drapes a smooth, gorgeous tone over a jagged cadence and rhythm – holding a note for a bit too long, then jumping and zigzagging to catch up – and the tension practically crackles." – Fred Kaplan, The Absolute Sound, March 2006
"…Pepper and Baker are at their best, alto sax and trumpet tightly knit in the cool-bop ensembles and offering urgent, well-argued solos…the Pure Pleasure vinyl treatment could make this one another audiophile classic." – Steve Harris, Hi-Fi News, June 2006,