Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pat LaBarbera and Gary Smulyan with String Quartet; Lew Tabackin withOrchestra

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

There's now movement on two of my beloved recording projects. Pat LaBarbera as featured soloist is now on board to record Pepper compositions in Toronto with a rhythm section plus string quartet. He'll be recording four newly written octet arrangements by LA based arranger and pianist Bevan Manson. I plan to do a crowdfunding campaign in April 2014 to raise $2,000 for Bevan Manson's arranging commission. I'll need your help to reach colleagues who might contribute, thanks. 

These four new arrangements will complement the four Manson wrote to feature Gary Smulyan that were performed in 2011 at Birdland in New York City. (Samples are at Once eight pieces are in place we can then move ahead to line up the musicians, studios, label and financing. The plan is to release a complete CD of Manson's brilliant octet charts. Half will be recorded in NYC featuring Smulyan on baritone sax, ideally again with the great George Mraz and Kenny Washington. The other half would feature LaBarbera on tenor and soprano saxophone with a band to be determined, but hopefully including cellist Matt Brubeck and violinists Aline and Luane Homzy.

The even more ambitious flute concerto project for Lew Tabackin is also moving ahead. Bevan is applying for a compositional grant to write a new piece for flute and chamber orchestra--about 30 pieces--based on themes from Pepper's tunes that is easily expandable to full orchestra. Manson is also looking for conductors to get the piece on their calendars. (Any ideas anyone?) Ultimately, we'll need to record the piece, but funding, etc. for that is far off in the future. For now, Manson is planning a compendium CD of his pieces for flute. Arranger Tony Faulkner might assist in arranging a suite of Pepper's seven superb ballads as an additional Tabackin feature, since Faulkner's already scored several for big band (see I've also requested that Manson consider scoring Lew's terrific arrangement of Pepper's Bossa Nouveau (sample at for the CD.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Re-Releasing The Master?

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

I came across Pepper's unmixed cassette of The Master session and it has five alternates!: 2 of Enchilada Baby, one of Rue Serpente, one of Bossallegro and one of Lovers of Their Time. I'm excited to report that Motema Music is interested in releasing it as part of my Pepper series, especially with some of these newly discovered tracks. The Muse material is now owned by Denon (after first being the property of Joel Dorn's 32 Jazz). I've placed a call to Stu Fine at Denon to find out if the masters still exist, including the alternates, and how we can put together a deal. Does anyone know him?  I'm going to try my hardest to get this historic session reissued. What do you think? Good idea?

I never liked Muse sticking in the James Dean Generation tracks on their previous reissue. The Master (Milt Hinton's nickname for Pepper), either by itself or with Adams' other great Muse recording Reflectory, should've been the original approach. Generation wasn't a Pepper Adams or Frank Foster led date. Because Joe Fields marketed the date that way, though it was a Dean project with Pepper and Foster as sidemen, Frank Foster was furious about the way it misrepresented him. (See my book for details, including James Dean's take on it). Foster went out of his way to tell radio stations about Joe Fields' shady marketing approach and that, because of it, they shouldn't play it. I suspect that if Pepper wasn't ill when the date was released in 1985, he might've joined with Frank to stop its release, start a law suit, or otherwise create a shitload of noise about it. 

From what I can gather, Joe Fields wasn't liked in the industry. Tommy Flanagan told me that upon entering the studio for the 1980 The Master date, he saw that Joe Fields was involved with the project and almost walked out. He said in my interview with him in 1988, "I only stayed because it was Pepper's date." Flanagan was a very kind man who chose his words carefully and wasn't anyone I'd call gregarious. But at Pepper's date, when he first saw Fields there, he did tell Fields how much he disliked him. Flanagan told Fields, "It's people like you that killed Monk." 

Pepper's Favorite Honegger Compositions

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

In 1984 Pepper loaned me a stack of Arthur Honegger cassettes--his personal favorites--so I could dub them. After a while, he asked for them back because he was about to go on tour and wanted to take them with him. I'm planning to get all of these transferred to CD and I'm excited because I haven't heard them since Pepper's death in 1986.

Reel 1:
Prelude to Aglavaine et Selysette (Louisville Orch, Jorge Mester)
Sonatina for Two Violins (David and Igor Oistraizh)
Symphony #2 (Berlin Phil, von Karajan)
Sept Pieces Breves, #1-7 (Jurge von Vintschger)
Symphony #3 (Berlin Phil, von Karajan)
Movement Symphonique #3 (Phil Sym. Orch. of London, Herman Scherchen)

Reel 2:
Symphony #5 ["Di Tre Re"], (Czech Phil, Serge Baudo)
Violin Sonata #2 (Eric Albert, Olga Galperin)
Sonatine for Violin and Cello (Schoenfeld Duo)
Chant de Joie  (Phil Sym. Orch. of London, Herman Scherchen)
Toccato and Variations (Jurge von Vintschger)
Suite Archaique (Louisville Orch, R. Whitney)
Prelude Arioso et Fugette sur le nom de Bach (Olga Galperin)

Reel 3:
Symphony #1 (Czech Phil, Serge Baudo)
Trois Pieces: Prelude, Hommage a Ravel, Danse  (Jurge von Vintschger)
Pastorale D'Este/Rugby (Phil Sym Orch of London, Herman Scherchen)
Violin Sonata #1 (Eric Albert, Olga Galperin)
Cello Concerto (Milos Sadlo; Czech Phil Orch, von Neumann)
Deux Esquisses/ Sarabande ["Inc"], Jurge von Vintschger)

Reel 4:
Clarinet Sonatina (Richard Stoltzman, Vallecillo)
Symphony #4 ["Deliciae Basilienses"](Czech Phil, Serge Baudo)
Hommage a Roussel/Sarabande/Souvenir de Chopin (Jurge von Vintschger)
Concerto de Camera (D. Shostac; A. Vogel; LA Chamber Orch, Gerard Schwartz)
Le Cahier Romans (Olga Galperin)
String Quartet #2 (Dvorak String Quartet)
excerpt from "Judith" (Utah Sym Orch, Soloists, 9 choruses, Maurine Abravanel)