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." 

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