Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New at pepperadams.com

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.



My webmaster and I have unveiled a new link at pepperadams.com. Called "Joy Road (Discography) Updates," this gives me the chance to frequently update my book Pepper Adams' Joy Road: An Annotated Discography. I'll be posting exciting Pepper discographical discoveries here and, of course, making corrections and additions. Posting pdf updates allows us to get them on the site quickly without reformatting.

The web is really the ideal medium for discography. There were three reasons, however, that I published the Pepper discography in book form rather than post it all at pepperadams.com or sell chapters as eBooks. For one thing, I had a book contract in place with Scarecrow. I wanted to fulfill the contract and especially the promise I made to so many people that the book--any book on Pepper!--would finally be published. 

Secondly, I felt that the oral history annotations derived from my unpublished musician interviews were historically important and made my book a reference work that could actually be read. I felt that it should get into the hands of fans and historians. That's why I pushed so hard on my first book tour and afterwards to sell out the hardcover edition to get an affordable version released in paperback. 

Lastly, there were commercial considerations. Aren't there always? My record company, Motema Music, felt that a book about Pepper Adams would help promote the North American CD and concert tour they were building with me. They wanted the book released in time for the tour. The strategy had worked well for them when they timed their Randy Weston release with the publication of his autobiography. I was happy to oblige! Motema's offer to reissue all four of my self-produced Pepper CDs and add to it the unreleased fifth vocals date lit a fire under me to finally finish the book, begun in 1984 when I first interviewed Pepper.

The discography updates listed within the new link will sometimes need to be referenced to the Pepper book to be fully understood. In time all these updates will be folded into the body of the book. That's when the entire discography gets posted at pepperadams.com. It will occur when the book officially goes out of print, probably around 2017.

Apart from Joy Road (Discography) Updates, we're soon unveiling a new Dedications page. It will include an overview, recorded samples and lead sheets. Many who've written Pepper dedications have not had their music heard or performed by others. We want to provide a forum for their gift to Pepper and encourage others to write dedications.

The Pepper Adams "Chronology," in some ways the core feature of pepperadams.com, is in line for a major overhaul too. All updates to the discography need to be entered, plus I've discovered hundreds of new items, many that fill in important gaps or change the historical record. The Chronology is something I frequently consult. Having it updated is vitally important for my Pepper Adams research and something I want available to others.

In addition to the new link and our plans for the Chronology and Dedications, we're trying to automate "Solos of the Month" so we don't keep slipping behind. I'm also trying to find the time to build out "Pepper Adams & John Coltrane." A fascinating email thread took place two years ago between me, Lewis Porter, Kevin Bales and others regarding my discovery of Pepper's November 1956 manuscript of Mary's Blues and how that relates to Coltrane's title of the same name. I hope to get to this soon. 

A discussion like that is perfect for this blog. Maybe I'll initiate new links derived from blog commentary, such as "Pepper Adams & Miles Davis," Pepper Adams & Wardell Gray," Pepper Adams & Louis Armstrong," "Pepper Adams & Coleman Hawkins," "Pepper Adams & Thad Jones," "Pepper Adams & Cannonball Adderley," "Pepper Adams & Benny Goodman, "Pepper Adams & Duke Ellington," "Pepper Adams & Billy Strayhorn, "Pepper Adams & Art Tatum," "Pepper Adams & Charlie Parker," Pepper Adams & Tommy Flanagan," "Pepper Adams & Elvin Jones," "Pepper Adams & Thelonious Monk," "Pepper Adams & Lee Morgan," "Pepper Adams & Rex Stewart?" Any suggestions or advice? What would you like to see?

Is there anything else you'd like included in the site? Obviously, my webmaster and I are constrained by our day jobs. We can proceed only so quickly. One thing I've wanted to include is a Pepper Adams genealogy and a collection of postcards that Pepper sent to friends. When Pepper was on tour he liked to stay in touch by sending postcards. I have two that he sent me and I've collected a bunch from interviewees. They're often very witty and give a glimpse into Pepper's life at the time. Any way we can include documentation from Pepper is a priority. To that aim we expect to post more radio interviews with him in the coming months.