Although it has come out on a budget label, these four performances (taken from concert appearances in 1978, 1980 and 1981) had never previously been released before. With support from either George Cables or Milcho Leviev on piano, David Williams or Bob Magnusson on bass and drummer Carl Burnett, the great altoist Art Pepper is in excellent form on an emotional "Kobe Blues," an intense version of "Patricia" and hard-swinging renditions of "Allen's Alley" and his own "Straight Life".
Laurie Anderson's third proper studio album, coming over five years after 1984's Mister Heartbreak (1986's Home of the Brave was a film soundtrack), is a near-total departure from anything she had done before or, indeed, anything she did after. The most purely musical of Anderson's albums and the one on which she does the most actual singing (though her trademark deadpan spoken-word passages are still present and accounted for), Strange Angels seems to be Anderson's idea of a straightforward pop album.
It's not at all surprising that Laurie Anderson would make a film dealing with grief and loss, especially as one of her first major projects after the death of her husband Lou Reed. But instead of offering a tribute to her late spouse, Anderson chose to make a film that dealt with another departed loved one: her dog. Her 2015 film, Heart of a Dog, is loosely centered around her experiences with her dog Lolabelle, a rat terrier who was adopted by the artist after being given up by a family going through a divorce.