Monday, September 19, 2011

Pepper Adams Discography Update

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Here's the promotional material I'm submitting to my publisher, Scarecrow Press, regarding my upcoming book, Pepper Adams' Joy Road: An Annotated Discography.  It's the result of many years of work:

Pepper Adams' Joy Road is more than a compendium of sessions and gigs done by the greatest baritone saxophone soloist in history.  It's a fascinating overview of Adams' life and times, thanks to colorful interview vignettes, drawn from the author's unpublished conversations with Adams and other musicians.  These candid observations, made by jazz greats about Adams and his colleagues, reveal previously unknown, behind-the-scenes drama about legendary recordings made by Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Pearson, Thad Jones, David Amram, Elvin Jones, and many others.  

All types of sound material--studio recordings, private tapes and broadcasts, film scores, audience tapes, even jingles--is listed, and Adams' oeuvre is pushed back from 1956 to 1947, when Adams was sixteen years old, before he played baritone saxophone.  Because the author had access to Adams' estate, just prior to its disposition in 1987, much new discographical material is included, some verified by Adams' date books and correspondence.  

Since Adams worked in so many of the great bands of his era, Joy Road is a refreshing, sometimes irreverent walk through a large chunk of jazz history.  The book also functions as a nearly complete band discography of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, the most influential big band of its time.  Adams was a founding member, and stayed with the band until a year before Jones left to relocate in Denmark.  

Significantly, Joy Road charts the ascent of Adams as an original yet still underappreciated composer.  Adams wrote 43 unique works, nearly half of them after August, 1977, when he left Jones-Lewis to tour the world as a soloist.

Joy Road, the first book ever published about Pepper Adams, is a companion to the author's forthcoming, full-length Adams biography.

Gary Carner, an independent jazz researcher, is the author of Jazz Performers and The Miles Davis Companion.  From 1984 until Adams' death in 1986, Carner collaborated with Pepper Adams on his memoirs.  Carner's Adams research spans four decades.

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