Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 10, 2011: The 25th Anniversary of Pepper Adams' Death

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Today I take a moment to acknowledge the quarter century of time that has passed since Pepper's death.  It was Lewis Porter who called me on the afternoon of September 10 to tell me the sad news.  Out of respect, New York jazz radio stations were playing Pepper's music, Lewis said, and a memorial service at St. Peter's Church was to be scheduled in a few weeks.

About a month before, I spoke with Pepper on the telephone.  His at-home nurse answered, she asked me to hold on, and, after a very long pause, Pepper made his way to the phone. We spoke briefly.  It was only a few sentences of conversation.  He was very weak. Then he said, "Goodbye, Gary."  Taken by the gravity of the moment, I didn't have a chance to respond, and Pepper hung up.  I knew that the end was near, he acknowledged as much, but I remain very grateful to this day that he took the time to say goodbye to me.  Long live Pepper Adams!

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