First off, this isn't my rip--it's another newsgroup grab. I wish I had kept track of the name of the poster but whoever he/she was he/she has my eternal thanks. This is a great record. It's criminal that it isn't available on CD--one online discography for Jim Pepper mentions a private label CD but I have been unable to find any further info & I believe that it was a bootleg recording.
Today Pepper may be better known among fusion jazz afficianados than fans of pop music who if anything only know his oft-covered hit "Witchi-Tai-To," a peyote chant Jim learned from his grandfather. A number of the other songs on this record are credited to his father, Gilbert (Gil) who plays on this records. So this is record that reflects (at least) three generations of musical input--really it reflects a lot longer tradition. Pepper was an American Indian--if you couldn't guess from listening to the record--his father was a Kaw and his mother a Creek. And this record is still, in IMHO, the finest fusion of American Indian musical traditions with other American musical styles. Pepper's first recording was as a member of the pioneer jazz-rock band (I hestitate to call them fusion) the Free Spirits. He also performed on a couple of rock records, Sandy Hurvitz's album and a single Fugs track, but most of his work was decidely jazz. He played tenor sax and flute with Don Cherry, Paul Motian, Larry Coryell, Bill Frisell, Mal Waldron & Charlie Haden among others (both as a leader & a sideman) and many of those recordings are in print. He has a fine full-bodied tone on the sax (which you can also hear on this record, which is now available on CD (and hence no longer available on this site).
Pepper's Pow Wow is an album that's harder to pidgeonhole. There's some jazz here and music that's in a Native American tradition but there's also more than a little pop, rock, gospel & soul going into it. It's one of those records that really defies genre but in a way that makes in appealing to fans of all the aforementioned styles. It is also one of the most uplifting records I've ever heard in spite of addressing subjects like America's genocidal campaigns against Native peoples and the continued racism against the American Indian. Overall it's just an exceptional album.
Jim Pepper passed away Feb 10, 1992 in Oregon, the state where he was born and raised. May he rest in peace. There is plenty of information available about him on the Web and there was a documentary about him a few years back. There's also a fine discography available from which the following information was taken. Note that the tracklist doesn't exactly match the rip I'm providing--I believe it's because 2 of the Witchi-Tai-To tracks are combined in these files.
Jim Pepper - PEPPER'S POW WOW
1. Witchi-Tai-To [chant 1] (Kaw traditional)
2. Witchi-Tai-To [song] (J. Pepper)
3. Witchi-Tai-To [chant 2]
4. Squaw Song (Gilbert Pepper)
5. Rock Stomp Indian Style (G. Pepper)
6. Senecas (Peter LaFarge)
7. Yon A Ho (G. Pepper)
8. Slow War Dance (G. Pepper)
9. Nommie-Nommie (Charles Gabriel/J.M. Black)
10. Newly-Weds Song (G. Pepper)
11. Fast War Dance (G. Pepper)
12. Now War Dance (G. Pepper)
13. Drums (LaFarge)
Rec. 1971, Apostolic Studios, New York
Jim Pepper, voice, tenor and soprano saxophone, percussion; Gil Pepper, voice, percussion; Ravie Pepper, flute, voice, percussion; Larry Coryell, electric guitar; Tom Grant, piano, voice, percussion; Chuck Rainey, electric bass on 1, 4, 8, 9; Jerry Jemmott, electric bass on 2, 5, 10; Billy Cobham, drums on 1, 4, 8, 9; Spider Rice, drums on 2, 5, 7, 10