Moris Tepper

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Moris Tepper
Birth nameJeff Moris Tepper
Also known asMoris Tepper, Jeff M. Tepper, Jeff Morris Tepper, Moris Tapir, Love Hunter, White Jew, Jeff Tepper[1]
OriginLos Angeles
GenresAlternative rock, rock, blues, experimental, jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, artist
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1970s–present
Associated actsCaptain Beefheart, Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, Frank Black, Robyn Hitchcock

Moris Tepper, sometimes credited as Jeff Moris Tepper, is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and artist.

Tepper first came to prominence in the late 1970s with Captain Beefheart.[2] He has also worked with singers Tom Waits,[3] PJ Harvey,[4] Robyn Hitchcock[5] and Frank Black.[6] He has recorded several solo albums. His album Head Off (2004) includes a lyrical collaboration with the reclusive Beefheart with the song "Ricochet Man".[7]

Tepper met Beefheart (alias Don Van Vliet) by chance while studying as an art student in Northern California in the mid-1970s. Van Vliet had already started to focus on painting and although they shared this in common it was when Van Vliet learned Tepper knew guitar parts to Trout Mask Replica that he became interested in putting together a new band around Tepper's unique guitar sound. This was done later in Los Angeles after Van Vliet and Frank Zappa had reunited briefly for the Bongo Fury tour.[2] The result of the new band led to arguably some of Captain Beefheart's most creative music efforts including albums Shiny Beast (1978), Ice Cream for Crow (1982) and Doc at the Radar Station (1980).[8] Tepper joined The Magic Band in 1976 and stayed in the band until 1982. He is one of the longest serving (without a break) Magic Band members and the only one to receive production credit for Ice Cream for Crow (1982)[9]

Tepper's first released solo work beginning with Big Enough to Disappear (1996) and then Moth to Mouth (2000) came after having been a sideman for many years. His music has been reviewed as "accessibly avant-garde"[10] and although it may be difficult to shed his sideman cult status he remains inspired.[11] Stingray in the Heart (2008) was described as an album that never pauses in a familiar territory.[12]

Tepper is also a painter and he divides his time between music and painting.[9][13]


With Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]


With 17 Pygmies[edit]

  • Captured In Ice (1985)
  • Welcome (1988)

With Gary Lucas[edit]

  • Improve The Shining Hour (2000 compilation)

With Tom Waits[edit]

With Frank Black[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

  • Big Enough to Disappear (1996)
  • Sundowner, Eggtooth (1998)
  • Moth to Mouth (2000)
  • Head Off (2004)
  • Stingray in the Heart (2008)
  • A Singer Named Shotgun Throat (2010)



  1. ^ Jeff Moris Tepper discography at Discogs
  2. ^ a b Chuck Crisafulli, "Busted guitars and spectacular sounds",, July 30, 2001
  3. ^ Jim Washburn, L.A. Times Entertainment, 19 May 2000
  4. ^ Richard Cromelin, "Dark, sonic spasms -- with PJ Harvey's assist", L.A. Times, 20 February 2006
  5. ^ The Echo and Echoplex: Thursday 10.04.07: Moris Tepper
  6. ^ Stewart Lee, 'Stingray In The Heart' Review", London Sunday Times, January 4, 2009
  7. ^ Tim Perlich, "Tepper wear: Biz-weary guitar ace thrives indie-style", Now Toronto, Music Feature, October 14–20, 2004
  8. ^ Elaine Shepard (Producer), Declan Smith (Film research) (1997). The Artist Formerly Known as Captain Beefheart (Documentary). BBC.
  9. ^ a b Moris Tepper Discography Archived 2010-09-19 at the Wayback Machine The Captain Beefheart Radar Station
  10. ^ Michael Simmons, "Moth to Mouth", L.A. Weekly, 18 August 2000
  11. ^ John Aizlewood, "'Stingray In The Heart' Review", Q Magazine 2008
  12. ^ Antero Garcia: ALBUM REVIEW: MORIS TEPPER: Moris Tepper Stingray in the Heart Candlebone L.A. Record, May 29th, 2008
  13. ^ Polly Higgins, "Storyteller, artist, musician - he does it all", Tucson Citizen, Entertainment, May 19, 2005

External links[edit]