Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pepperadams.com Improvements


© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Dan Olson, my trusty webmaster since pepperadams.com's inception, has been visiting this week. Apart from four rounds of golf in wonderfully balmy Georgia weather, we've spent time making refinements to the website. The main issue is pepperadams.com's compatibility with iPads and laptops or desktop computers. Over the last year we've found that newer versions of popular browsers don't support some of the older features of Quicktime that we used to build out the site. Because of that, our links, mouse-overs and other "cool" features aren't working as originally intended. Over the last few days we've fixed typos and repaired captions. Text has been rewritten, dead links have been removed and other tasks are ongoing. You can expect more improvements in the coming weeks. 

A long discussion ensued yesterday about what to do about Pepper's compositions. For quite some time I've been eager to correct the total number of Adams compositions from 43 to 42 but Dan has resisted. Without belaboring the point, from a technical point of view it's very involved to change the Composition List without having to update scads of other pages linked to it. A seemingly simple task, as it turns out, isn't simple at all. Moreover, all sorts of philosophical issues regarding the nature of research are involved. Is it best to retain a record of what was once thought to be correct or is it better to reveal newly discovered information and expunge the old information entirely? For us, a New Yorker article (see "Discards" by Nicholson Baker, 4 April 1994; http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1994/04/04/discards) describing the wholesale destruction of card catalogs about 20 years ago was a chilling reminder of how important it is to show the progression of knowledge. Much like the Nazis burning books, the New Yorker piece described how card catalogs were destroyed when libraries transitioned to the digital age. But the rush to embrace the new technology was done without care to preserve all the research contained in those card records and much information, such as handwritten notations, was lost in the process. It reminds me of America's urban renewal movement in the 1960s and the ensuing loss of many great public buildings.

Ultimately, we decided to keep the Compositions page as is but append it with a new mouse-over explaining how 43 Adams compositions became 42. For those not aware of the need for the revision, see "Like . . . What Is This." It's written by Kiane Zawadi (formerly Bernard McKinney), not Pepper. Nevertheless, where appropriate, we've also decided to change "43" to "42" throughout the site.

Another thing Dan and I discussed was how to reconstitute Solos of the Month. No longer should we update the page every month, we agreed, or scramble to catch up because it wasn't updated in time. We've decided instead to post all of the samples, rename the page "Rare Performances" and add new things as we go. Stay tuned for that update.

"Audio from 2012 Tour" is a work in progress. It will take some time before that's repaired. "Dedications" will also receive a make-over soon. We have music samples and lead sheets to add. 

"Pepper Adams and John Coltrane" is due for a major overhaul. That will wait until Osian Roberts and John Vana share their insights in this blog. Also, an old thread about "Mary's Blues" will be appended. So much to do!

                    (Kiane Zawadi and Howard Johnson,1966)


                             (Kiane Zawadi/Bernard McKinney)