Straight Life: Stories of Art Pepper Flash Movie

Art Pepper's widow Laurie Pepper was responsible for putting together Art's autobiography Straight Life. She transcribed hours of cassette recordings that she made of Art telling stories and edited them into an entire book. I remember running across the book when I was still at Berklee. I don't think I put it down until I read every last page. I was completely captivated by Art's first hand accounts of club hopping with Dexter Gordon while toasted on Dexedrine (back when there were Jazz clubs all over L.A. that were open all night long). Straight Life is truly one of the greatest books about the Jazz life ever written.

After the book was published Laurie received a lot of interest from the movie studios wanting to make it into a movie. They of course wanted to make Art into a one dimensional wild man Jazz junkie, like Clint did to Bird, and they wouldn't even promise to use Art's own music. Laurie finally decided to make a movie herself, a Flash movie. Below are some YouTube clips from the movie, they're not in order unfortunately, and some music videos.

From Laurie Pepper's Straight life Flash Movie:

Johnny Dep reads Laurie Pepper's script:

Art Pepper Music videos:

"I want to be more than just a "jazz player" playing. I want to make people forget the categories and hear what's really happening. I want to make them feel the joy or sadness. I want to make them open up and listen. That's what I've always wanted."- Art Pepper

Straight Life web site
Laurie Pepper's Movie Blog

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