Jim Pepper: Hallelue
Rare Jim Pepper recordings emerging...
Thanks to David Ackerman for posting this, Native Church music.... Jim later recorded this song as "Caddo Revival."

Caren Knight - Vocal - Jim Pepper - Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy "Creeper" Smith - Hammond Organ - Ron Schwerin - Percussion - Produced By David Ackerman for Good Friends

Lakota Song - Jim Pepper Quartet (listen here)
1984-September-13, Portland, OR, USA,
Pine Street Theater, A Benefit Concert For The Urban Indian Council, 1984
Jim Pepper,ts,voc - Gordon Lee,p,synthy
Ed Schuller,b
Bruce Carter,dr - Gilbert Pepper, voc (Track 10)

Jim Pepper had his own way of playing the saxophone, had his own way of doing things, cut his own path, took songs and chants from time immemorial and cast them out in forms he invented, water spirit springin’ new music “built to last,” as David Amram described in this line from his Remembrance of Jim Pepper : “…about Jazz, Native American music and all the sincere forms of music built to last that were mostly ignored by the classical music establishment as well as the Pop and rock world,” Jim Pepper created new music that resonates and replays around the world, built to last.

Jim Pepper had his own lexicon, his own idiomatic expressions in both the sounds he could get out of his instruments and in the words and music that came from that soulful voice, a view of the world that came deep from Indian Country, that came out in conversation that might seem mundane but could be Old Soul to the bone, you might say to Jim “See you later, Jim” and he would reply, famously, “I see you now.”

James Gilbert Pepper was born June 18, 1941 in Salem, Oregon, the son of Gilbert and Floy Pepper. The family later moved to Portland, where their home was lost in the 1948 Vanport Flood, and then to the Parkrose neighborhood, where Jim and his sister Suzie grew up.
Jim showed signs that he was exceptional at a young age:

Those who knew him could tell from the beginning that Pepper would be no ordinary man.

“When I first met Jim,” recalls friend Ferris Peery, “we were in 9th grade at Parkrose, and Jim was a four-sport athlete, he dated the best-looking girl, he seemed to be in every play … and then when I went home, Jim was tap dancing on TV! Later he and his father Gilbert were on TV again, Indian dancing! I’ve never seen a talent like that in my life.”

Pepper continues to be a force in the lives of those who knew him or play his music, an outcome he prayed for with rhythmic insistence the year before he died in “Remembrance”: “You must not forget me when I’m long gone because I loved you so dearly.” --Lynn Darroch, 2005

Jim’s friendship with Glen Moore, bassist of the band Oregon, began when both performed with The Young Oregonians as teenagers, the first threads of the World Wide Web that Jim would spin, bridging cultures and continents with the power of his music and personality, later recording Ya Na Ho with Oregon’s Collin Walcott on Jim’s Coming and Going LP, an American masterpiece, and Oregon continues to perform Jim’s music today, carrying his remembrances to the far corners of the world, “You must not forget me when I’m long gone, for I loved you so dearly, sugar honey….”

Jim Pepper left Portland for New York City, a jazz-playing urban Indian steeped in Kaw and Creek traditions arriving in the Big Apple in the mid-1960s, where he became one of the founders of the genre called jazz-rock fusion, at the epicenter of serious musical crosspollinations, collaborations and off-the-wall craziness against a backdrop of cross-burning, political assassinations, the Viet Nam War and the conditions leading to the emergence of the American Indian Movement.
The Free Spirits emerged from that NYC stew in 1965, jazz players with drop-dead chops playing on the rock beat, psychedelic lyrics infused with whatever there needed to be on the date, in the moment, rebelling against the Top 40 mentality at all times, surging always pushing always looking always searching, “I’m gonna be free…for the rest of my days”… they sang, meaning it literally, the direction they were heading was THAT way….

The Free Spirits was a quintet: Larry Coryell, Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, Chris Hills, Columbus Chip Baker and Jim Pepper the members of the band, a collaboration that lasted from 1965 to 1967. In the same year that The Beatles released Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Jimi Hendrix came out of nowhere with Are You Experienced?, The Free Spirits released Out of Sight and Sound, their only LP, and the first of its kind in the history of music.
After The Free Spirits broke up, Jim Pepper, multi-instrumentalist Chris Hills and Columbus Chip Baker formed  a band called Everything is Everything, adding Lee Reinoehl, John Waller and Jim Zitro to the lineup, and on their LP and 45 RPM single was the first expression of Jim Pepper’s seminal, everlasting, transformational composition, Witchi Tai To, and Jim Pepper’s phenomenal, absolutely unique rendering of John Coltrane’s Naima, both songs seeded from ancient traditions emerging from different continents through this medium, this young man with a tenor saxophone he pretty much taught himself to play, Jim and his father Gilbert Pepper and grandfather Ralph Pepper, the Old Souls behind the Fingers….

Well-established as a jazz, rock and blues musician with fabulous improvisational skills and an unforgettable sound, Jim Pepper went in a new direction when he recorded his first LP under his own name in 1971, Pepper’s Powwow, a statement of 12 songs and chants of Native American music, another American masterpiece, told in jazz, free jazz, rock, blues, traditional Native and country idioms, and a more mature Jim Pepper’s Witchi Tai To, with one of the most magnificent solos ever recorded in the middle, a song and a reading with the power to change a person’s life, make you feel glad that you’re not dead….

Jim Pepper put the Pepper’s Powwow recording band together in 1971 in New York City, another seminal lineup with Larry Coryell on guitar, Portland’s Tom Grant on piano, Ravie Pepper on flute, Chuck Rainey and Jerry Jemmot on bass, Billy Cobham and Spider Rice on drums. His father Gilbert Pepper told the story of the Senecas in Peter LaFarge’s words and on the other side of the country out in the middle of San Francisco Bay, members of the American Indian Movement occupied Alcatraz, John Trudell their spokesman and poet warrior.

The LP ends with a sequence of three songs: Fast War Dance these Indians are not gonna get pushed around, the band tells the story of The Little Bighorn in Custer Gets It in just one minute of free jazz battlefield chaos and celebration, that was a day that the U.S. Cavalry didn’t slaughter a village of children and elders, and concludes with Drums. Jim Pepper didn’t compose pop songs. This LP, Pepper’s Powwow, is also the first of its kind in the history of music, Native American music and jazz combined, and an album of music immemorial…

Liner notes on Pepper’s Powwow:

“The content of this record is how a very sophisticated musician incorporates his heritage and social comment into his ongoing exploration of music. Pepper’s lineage is Kaw and Creek Indian. Witchi Tai To, the Slow and Fast War Dance(s), Yon A Ho, the Newly-Weds Song and the Squaw Song are Kaw-derived. Rock Stomp Indian Style and Nommie-Nommie have Creek origins.” –Jack Berry, KATU Channel 2, Portland

Also on Pepper’s Powwow are two Peter La Farge songs, sung the way Johnny Cash sung them, country style, and here are the social comments, the political statements suggested in the liner notes: Senecas, which ends side 1 and Drums ending side 2.

The Senecas are an Indian Tribe of the Iroquois nation,
Down on the New York-Pennsylvania line, you'll find their reservation
After the U S revolution, Cornplanter  was a chief;
He told the tribe these men they could trust, that was his true belief

He went down to Independence Hall, and there a treaty signed,
That promised peace with the USA, and Indian rights combined
George Washington gave his signature, the Government gave its hand;
They said that now and forever more this was Indian land

CHORUS: As long as the moon shall rise,
As long as the rivers flow,
As long as the sun will shine,
As long as the grass shall grow

Senecas tells a factual story of deceit and treachery and land-stealing familiar to every tribe in the Americas. Drums speaks to the psychological war the United States waged on Indian children with boarding schools, and warns that there is plenty of fight left, that Indian drums “are getting might near.” This is a call to action. Jim doesn’t play saxophone on either of the Peter La Farge songs, it’s all about the lyrics….

From the Indian reservation
to the governmental school
Well, they're goin' to educate me
to the white men's Golden Rule

And I'm learning very quickly
for I've learned to be ashamed
And I come when they call Billy
though I've got an Indian name

And there are drums beyond the mountain
Indian drums that you can't hear
There are drums beyond the mountain
And they're getting mighty near

And when they think that they'd changed me
Cut my hair to meet their needs
Will they think, I'm white or Indian
Quarter blood or just half breed

Let me tell you, Mr. Teacher
When you say, you'll make me right
In five hundred years of fighting
Not one Indian turned white


Well, you thought that I knew nothing
When you brought me here to school
Just another empty Indian
Just America's first fool

But now I can tell you stories
That are burnt and dried and old
But in the shadow of their telling
Walks the Thunder proud and bold


Long Pine and Sequoia
Handsome Lake and Sitting Bull
There's Magnus Colorado
With his sleeves so red and full

Crazy Horse, the legend
Those who bit off Custer's soul
They are dead yet they are living
With the great Geronimo


Well, you may teach me this land's history
But we taught it to you first
We broke your hearts
And bent your journeys
Broken treaties left us cursed

Even now you have to cheat us
Even though you think us tame
In our losing we found proudness
In your winning you found shame

And there are drums beyond the mountain
Indian drums that you can't hear
There are drums beyond the mountain
And they're getting mighty near

END - I See You Now Jim, part 1