After a year of pleading, I finally acquired five tunes from
Adams’s November 16, 1985 gig from the Bassment (yes,
that’s the correct spelling) in Saskatoon, Canada. Already
deep into his cancer, Adams sounds tremendous. That
further suggests to me that he played superbly throughout
at least February, 1986, after which his illness and
medical treatments appreciably wore him down. Unfortunately,
there are precious few Adams audience recordings after that
time, though the few that exist suggest a lessening of his
powers in his last eight months of life.
Earlier in the month, I decided to pour through one last box of
notes, sorted as “Analysis,” that I had been saving. I wondered
if I made any observations that might be germane to the
biography, whether overtly or even obliquely. I turned out that,
yes, I had a few scraps of paper with notes on them that I could
actually use. Some regarded comments I scribbled about certain
recordings. I also discovered at long last three missing pages from
my Adams interview transcript in which he talks about his fondness
for Francis Poulenc and William Walton. I was able to add that, as
well as some notes about the diminished scale and Clark Terry’s
comment to me about Ellington’s “Jack the Bear” and how that’s
the likely source for Pepper's composing for bass and baritone as
Lastly, I received from one of my final readers a few minor corrections
regarding the biography's front matter. I’m awaiting his critique of
Chapters 1-4 (1930-1955), plus another reader’s critique of Chapters
5-12 (1956-1986). Work still continues on the book’s directory of 450
tunes. It’s really incredible to have a kind of “Best of” collection all in
one place, without having to scramble for tracks on an LP, cassette, or
CD. I think you’re going to be amazed by this addition to the eBook.
I’m still on track for a September, 2021 release.
To that aim, in the last week I tightened up my Prologue and first
chapter with some editorial improvements. I’ve also decided (I had
forgotten about it) to produce an audiobook version of the biography.
Perhaps that will take away some of the sting of it only at first being
released as an eBook? Can anyone advise me on how to go about
this? Is iTunes or Amazon the preferred vehicle? Any idea on pricing?
I’ve got some upcoming Zoom lectures at Ball State University, the
University of Wisconsin, Appalachian State, and the University of
Missouri. If any are recorded, I may share them at pepperadams.com.
All the best!