Saturday, October 26, 2013

In the Country with Tony

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Yesterday afternoon I picked up at the Atlanta airport UK arranger Tony Faukner.  This begins our 1-month tour of North America.  After a great meal in Decatur at 246 to kick things off, then watching a vintage 1982 video of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra (with Tom Harrell, John Marshall, Joe Lovano, Kenny Garrett, Ed Neumeister), Tony went out like a light.

Today is a recovery day at my place in the Georgia countryside.  My webmaster Dan Olson is flying in from Minneapolis. Tomorrow we're having a party in Tony's honor, and I've invited a brilliant quartet, led by pianist Kevin Bales, to perform for us.  I doubt they'll play any Pepper tunes from Kevin's CD I produced; probably standards, but that's just fine.  With Kevin is Mace Hibbard on alto sax, Neal Starkey on bass, and Justin Varnes on drums.  Tony will likely sit in.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Toronto radio interview

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Tonight, from 10-12 midnight Eastern, the interview I did a few days ago with Robert Fogle regarding my work on Pepper Adams will be aired.  The segment, on CHRY radio in Toronto, will likely start at 10:30. You can stream the show at

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Meeting Tony Faulkner

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

In the Spring of 2012 my Pepper Adams book, Pepper Adams' Joy Road, was finally completed, after more than 25 years of research.  At that time, I was also finishing liner notes for Motema to get the 5-CD set of Pepper's music ready for release in the Fall.  The overarching strategy was to co-brand the book and CD series as "Joy Road," then release them at the same time and promote them with a book and CD tour.

I built an ambitious, four month, 40-city tour throughout the US and Canada (including one week at major clubs in New York), lecturing at colleges and book stores, and overseeing concerts of Pepper's music.  It was really a fantastic time--one of my life's highlights!  Most of the bands were small groups, but some were large aggregations that played big band arrangements of Pepper tunes that I had commissioned.  The commissions were started the preceding year in anticipation of the tour, and with an eye towards a big-band CD as Volume 6 of my Motema series.

One of the arrangers that provided big band charts is the esteemed Frank Griffith, an old friend who now lives in London. Griffith was only able to do two charts, but knew that I needed at least enough material to do a CD.  He recommended that I contact a colleague, Tony Faulkner, who lives in Leeds, England.  He thought Faulkner would enjoy participating in my project.  Griffith said, "I can not recommend him highly enough," and that was enough praise for me.

I emailed Faulkner, and he wrote back saying that he was delighted to get involved. Little did I know that he was retired and one of Thad Jones' greatest disciples.  In the ensuing 18 months, Faulkner would throw himself heart and soul into the project, doing 21 big band arrangements of Pepper's compositions; an original 20-minute suite (Park Frederick III) dedicated to Adams, built on themes from Pepper's tunes; as well as 11 tentet charts on Pepper's tunes.  For some, this is the output of an entire lifetime!  Faulkner's dedication and brilliant work was so inspiring that I produced Volume 6 entirely of his arrangements, then joined with drummer Tim Horner to produce a second CD of Faulkner's work for tentet, that will be recorded in a few weeks, live in New York and New Jersey.

This Saturday I'll go into more specifics about tunes, concerts, and the details of the upcoming tour.  Please see my post "Tony and Ernie" from 8/24/13, an amusing two-day travelogue about the recording of Volume 6.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pepper Adams Archive?

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

It occurred to me today that I wrote a will many years ago, directing my heirs to donate all of my jazz and Pepper Adams materials to the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University in Newark NJ.  Over the years much of my work has benefited from the Institute. But in a few weeks I'll be touring the Thad Jones Archives at William Paterson University.  William Paterson has an extraordinary jazz studies program that Thad started. Doesn't it make a lot of sense to establish a Pepper Adams Archive to encourage future work on Pepper at the same place that houses the Thad Jones Archive?  There's so much overlap, and so much of my Pepper materials can help Thad Jones researchers.  Pepper and Thad, like Carney and Duke, should be together.  I'll be exploring this with William Paterson and I'll report back about it. Hopefully this meeting will set in motion not just a future home for Pepper Adams materials, but a place of activity about him and his great body of work.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

2013 Best Jazz Discography

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

I'm very pleased to announce that my book Pepper's Adams' Jazz Road has been awarded as the Best Discography in Jazz for 2013 by the Association of Recording Sound Collections. It's very gratifying to be recognized by my peers, that's for sure. The book is now out in paperback.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pepper Adams' 83rd Birthday

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Tomorrow (October 8) is Pepper Adams' birthday.  He would've been 83 years old.  Please play his music in celebration.  Here's the listing from my Chronology at

October 8: Highland Park MI: Park Frederick Adams III is born at 8am at Highland Park General Hospital to Park Adams II and Cleo Marie Coyle of 4695 Courville Road, Grosse Pointe Village, Michigan in suburban Detroit.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Altsys Tentet

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

On Friday, November 6, 2013 at 8pm the Altsys Tentet will be performing at L'espace 64, 64 Rue Prince, Montreal. The ensemble will be performing the Canadian premiere of Tony Faulkner's new tentet charts of Pepper Adams compositions. Author Gary Carner will be signing copies of his book Pepper Adams' Joy Road.