Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pepper Adams Big Band CD Kickstarter Campaign

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Does anyone know who's responsible for YouTube's Pepper Adams Channel?  Contrary to popular belief, it isn't me!  If that person would come forward, I'd like to post an announcement there about the Pepper Adams big band Kickstarter campaign (now in it's final two weeks), to reach it's substantial subscriber base.

Speaking of Kickstarter, we're now 52% funded, with 15 days to go.  It's been a nail-biter, each day with it's emotional ups and downs.  Somehow, I've managed to aggregate just barely enough family, friends, musicians, and Pepper fan donations to keep pace with the grinding daily need for $234 of pledges a day.  

We started off well, but then hit a wall, and donations were flat for almost a week, leading me to alternating feelings of hopefulness and despair.  I started thinking of the campaign in medical terms, such as "flat-lining" and "life support."  Then, suddenly, on Friday, July 20, a bunch of baritone saxophonists started pledging, the entire campaign was lifted, and we've had wind at our sails ever since.  

That's not to gloat, or to say that this is done.  Every day continues to be an emotional roller-coaster.  As I write this, no new donations have come in.  Usually by 4 or 5pm, on a less than adequate funding day, I'm thinking about red wine and when I'll pour my first glass.  That hasn't happened yet today, but my bottle of Super Tuscan, opened and in the fridge, comes out shortly to get near room temperature, just in case.

Some very notable people have contributed thus far, and I'm very gratified!  Pepper's close friend Lew Tabackin has donated.  So has pianist/writer/broadcaster Ben Sidran, who conducted probably the greatest interview with Pepper that was ever done in Pepper's lifetime.  You can listen to it in the Interviews section of  Pepper was very ill at the time.  It was only ten months before his death. 

Thanks to Ben, the great bassist Richard Davis has also contributed.  Talk about coming full circle! Arranger Tony Faulkner is one of Thad Jones' greatest disciples, and Richard Davis was, with Mel Lewis and Roland Hanna, part of that spectacular Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra rhythm section.  The charts that Faulkner wrote for our new CD (Volume 6 in Motema's Pepper Adams Complete Compositions series) surrounds Pepper's music with Thad Jones phrases and textures, and now Richard Davis is supporting the release of that work with his pledge?  

Faulkner is stunned, particularly because one of Davis' pledge awards is to receive an arranging lesson from him.  Tony might not feel worthy, but I told him, "This is your moment.  Enjoy the next few months."  I was referring to more than the Skype tutorial with Davis.  I was thinking mostly of the upcoming book-CD-concert tour--with world premieres, a live recording, an NPR broadcast, and clinics and lectures--that he and I are doing throughout the U.S. and Canada, starting in late October.  We hope to see you there!


  1. Great job, Gary! Wishing success to this project. Keep up your drive.

  2. Thanks your your kind words and your participation.