Sunday, December 2, 2018

Thank You, Pepper

Dec 2018 blog
© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.
I hope all the Americans who are reading this had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Every day, either overtly or implicitly, I give my thanks to Pepper Adams, who so generously brought me into his life and, by doing, set the course of mine forever. 
I traveled out to Salt Lake City on Thanksgiving Day to visit with my daughter. Fortunately, no hiccups with the weather, either going or coming. I stayed for a week, taking side trips to Robert Redford’s Sundance resort and to the college town of Logan.
While in Salt Lake, I had the opportunity to appear on Steve Williams’ radio show “Jazz Time.” It’s being aired today at 4pm Eastern Time (New York) at I had a chance to play some Pepper material for an hour (in the second hour of his show), and chat a little bit about my upcoming Adams biography, etc.
By the way, one of the most iconic restaurants in SLC is Red Iguana. If you like big portions of tasty Mexican food, I recommend it. Terrific mole! It’s easier to get in to Red Iguana II, just around the corner, than the original spot.
While in Logan, I gave a lecture at Utah State University about some of the things I’ve discovered about Pepper Adams since I began writing the biography. Since I only had 75 minutes, and some of that time needed to be relinquished to show a few videos at and play a music example, I focused on three subjects: Pepper’s paternal genealogy, his military experience, and his abiding sense of isolation in the world. For the genealogy, I discussed his sixth great-grandfather, James Adams. James Adams was captured at the Battle of Durham and in 1650 transported to the Massachusetts Bay Colony as an indentured servant. His will to survive his many travails to become a free man, including seven years of hard labor, I wrote, is embedded within the Pepper Adams DNA.
As for Pepper’s military time, I discussed how he, in his six months on Korean soil, traveled from battlefield to battlefield, and just how dangerous a time it was for him. More than that, though, I pointed out how much he hated his army experience, and how he was able to get his way with his superiors, if he felt that their orders were inappropriate.
Lastly, I discussed Pepper’s sense of isolation in the world. His family was mostly prosthetic, comprised of fans and musicians around the world, and he lived mostly alone. I go into great detail about it in the biography.
As for the upcoming e-book, it looks like I will be selling halves of the biography in two chunks at $9.99 each. Both sections will be embedded with music links so that the reader can instantly listen to all the music that’s referenced.  I hope to get the first half up for sale at by April, 2019.
Chapter Four -- the first of three chapters that comprise Part Two of the biography -- is at around seventy pages now, and it doesn’t yet include all my notes about some of Pepper’s greatest performances, nor a concluding section about why he was beloved by his colleagues. I hope to get all that done in the next thirty to sixty days. Then I can move on to Chapter Five, all about Pepper’s time with Thad Jones, roughly 1964-1977. Have a great December! 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Pepper Adams Biography Release Date

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

The exciting news this month is that I’ve decided to release the first three chapters of my Adams biography as e-books. Once John Vana and I came to the conclusion that we are better off releasing the book digitally, it became obvious that there’s no reason to wait any longer. Getting the chapters out in early 2019 will help bridge the gap between then, the near future when I release Chapters 4-6, and some eight or so years from now when Vana starts publishing his musicological analysis.

The plan at this point is to release the chapters individually at $4.95, or the first half of the book for $9.99. I’d love some feedback on whether this approach makes sense, and especially if you have any advice about what vendors to choose, how I should go about it, etc. I’ve heard good things about iUniverse, and I’m aware of CD Baby and Amazon as two other options.

This week I’ll be sending to the Jazz History Database three large reel-to-reel tapes that contain the entire contents of all of my interviews with Pepper Adams. I started interviewing him in June, 1984, and only some of the material was excerpted by Cadence in their four-part series in 1986. The idea, of course, is to make all of this material available, and to link it to

I’ve spent most of my free time this month listening to Pepper Adams solos, trying to find some more of those incredible gems that reside within the many audience recordings I’ve catalogued in Joy Road. I’ve been focused mostly on the period 1983-1986. There’s so much great material, and I did find a few things that are truly special (see below). Before I started listening a few weeks back, I was under the impression that Adams, because of his bizarre car accident in December, 1983, had lost some of his facility due to his long layoff. I was led to believe that principally because of the way he sounded on a gig or two in New Jersey and elsewhere. After listening to his first gig back (at the Detroit Institute of Arts in June, 1984) once ambulatory again, and to other dates later that year and afterwards, however, I realized that there was no diminution of his playing at all. If his playing suffered at any time, it was toward the very end of his life, when he was very deep into his cancer, battling secondary infections, and physically quite weak.

Below is a roster of the samples you can expect to hear in the coming months at that I discuss in Chapter 4 of my Pepper biography. While some are obscure audience recordings, others are landmark commercial releases. Have a great month and Happy Thanksgiving!

Chapter 4:
Pepper Adams, Montreal Jazz Festival (1986)
Denny Christianson, Suite Mingus (1986)
[“Lookin’ for the Back Door, “My Funny Valentine,” “Fables of Faubus”]
Pepper Adams, Plays the Music of Charlie Mingus (1963)
[See Chapter 6]
Joshua Breakstone, Echoes (1986)
[“It’s Easy to Remember,” “Bird Song,” “My Heart Stood Still”]
Pepper Adams, The Adams Effect (1985)
Pepper Adams, Encounter (1968)
[See Chapter 5]
Pepper Adams Live (1977)
             [“How Long Has This Been Going On?”]
Nick Brignola, Baritone Madness (1977)
[“Donna Lee”]
Pepper Adams at Gulliver’s (1978)
            [“Half Nelson,” “Time on My Hands,” “Three Little Words,” “Chelsea Bridge,” “‘Tis,”    
            “Apothegm,” “A Blue Time,” “Body and Soul,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “‘Tis,” “I’ve Just
            Seen Her,” “What Is This Thing Called Love,” “I Love You”]
Pepper Adams, Eastman Theater (1978)
             [“Body and Soul”]
Pepper Adams, Reflectory (1978)
[“Reflectory,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Etude Diabolique,” Claudette’s Way,” “I Carry Your
Heart,” “That’s All”]
Walter Bishop Jr, Cubicle (1978)
            [“My Little Suede Shoes,” “Summertime,” “Cubicle,” “Now, Now That You’ve Left Me”]
Sture Nordin (1978)
[“Straight, No Chaser”  “Day Dream”]
Curtis Fuller (1978)
            [“Four on the Outside”
             “Hello Young Lovers”
             “Little Dreams”
              “Ballad for Gabe-Wells”
              “Corrida del Torro”]
Pepper Adams in Montreal (1978)
  [“Dylan’s Delight,” A Child Is Born,” Mean What You Say,” I Carry Your Heart,” “Bossa
  Nouveau,” “In Love with Night,” Three Little Words,” “Claudette’s Way,” “Oleo”]
Bill Perkins (1978)
  [“La Costa,” “Dylan’s Delight, “Civilization and Its Discontents”]
Dick Salzman (1978)
  [“Mean to Me,” “Love Walked In,” “My Little Suede Shoes”]
Helen Merrill, Chasin’ the Bird/Gershwin (1979)
               [“Summertime,” “Embraceable You/Quasimodo”]
Pepper Adams at the Pizza Express (1979)
  [“Bye, Bye Blackbird,” “Civilization and Its Discontents,” “Oleo,” “’Tis”]
Oliver Nelson, More Blues and the Abstract Truth (1964)
  [See Chapter 6]
Jimmy Witherspoon, Blues for Easy Livers (1966)
  [See Chapter 6]
Pepper Adams at the Jazz Forum (1979)
  [“I Carry Your Heart”]
Pepper Adams, The Master (1980)
[The entire date, plus alternates]
Pepper Adams at Far and Away (1980)
[Falling in Love With Love, “How Long Has This Been Going On,” “What Is This Thing
            Called Love,”  “Three and One,” “A Child Is Born,” Mean What You Say, “Urban
            Dreams,” “Happy Birthday,” “I Carry Your Heart,” “I’ll Remember April”]
Pepper Adams at Far and Away (1981)
[“In a Mellow Tone,” “Confirmation”]
Pepper Adams at Far and Away (1982)
[“What Is This Thing Called Love,” “Shuffle”]
Pepper Adams at Far and Away (1983)
[4/16: “Times Have Changed,” “The Days of Wine and Roses,” “Rue Serpente”]
[9/30: “That’s All”]
[10/1: “Time on My Hands,” “Times Have Changed,” “Witchcraft”]
[11/19: “Falling in Love with Love,” “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” “Bye, Bye
Noreen Grey at the University of Bridgeport (1984)
[“A Woman Is a Sometime Thing”]
Pepper Adams at Far and Away (1984)
            [“Three and One”]
Pepper Adams at Far and Away (1985)
            [850112: “Witchcraft”]
            [850413: “In Love with Night”]
Pepper Adams at the Downtown Athletic Club (1980)
[“My Funny Valentine,” “Blues in the Closet”]
Pepper Adams with the Skymasters Big Band (1981)
[“The Preacher”]
Pepper Adams at The Flags (1981)
Pepper Adams, Urban Dreams (1981)
[“Urban Dreams”]
Pepper Adams at the Bull’s Head (1982)
[“Isn’t It Romantic,” “Witchcraft”]
Pepper Adams at Nick’s (April 1, 1982)
[“I Carry Your Heart”]
Pepper Adams at DeFemio’s (1982)
[“If You Could See Me Now”]
Hank Jones at the International Jazz Festival (1982)
[“Urban Dreams”]
Nobby Totah in Westport (1982)
[“Get Happy,” “Urban Dreams,” “Take the ‘A’ Train”]
Pepper Adams with the Metropole Orchestra (1982)
[“Urban Dreams,” “Linger Awhile,” “I’m All Smiles,” “Witchcraft,” “Gone with the Wind”]
Pepper Adams at Nick’s (December 10, 1982)
[“My Little Suede Shoes,” “Reflectory,” “No Refill”]
Pepper Adams at Struggle’s (1983)
[“Chelsea Bridge,” “Pent-Up House”]
Pepper Adams at the OCC Jazz Festival (1983)
[“Oleo” (solo only)]
Pepper Adams at the Four Queens Hotel (1983)
[“A Child Is Born”]
Elvin Jones at the Village Vanguard (1983)
[“Island Birdie”]
Hank Jones at the Stockholm Jazz and Blues Festival (1983)
[“Doctor Deep”]
Pepper Adams at the Ottawa Jazz Festival (1983)
[“What Is This Thing Called Love,” “Bossallegro”]
Pepper Adams at DeFemio’s (1983)
[“Alone Together”]
Danny D’Imperio at Eddie Condon’s (1983)
[“Have You Met Miss Jones” (with D’Imperio’s intro), “Scrapple from the Apple,” “My
            Ideal,” “Hellure,” “Star Eyes,” “Minority,” “Just You, Just Me,” “Blues for Philly Joe” (full
Ray Alexander at Eddie Condon’s (1983)
[“Green Dolphin Street,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Bernie’s Tune,” “Witchcraft”]
Pepper Adams, Live at Fat Tuesday’s (1983)
[“Doctor Deep” (8/20: track -w, p. 436 of Joy Road]
Denny Christianson at the CBC Radio Studios (1984)
[‘Autumn Leaves,” “A Pair of Threes,” “Reflectory,” “Claudette’s Way”]
Pepper Adams at the Singapore International Jazz Festival (1984)
[“What Is This Thing Called Love,” “Bossa Nouveau,” the concluding half-chorus (directly
            after the bass solo) and cadenza to “Body and Soul”]
Pepper Adams at the Bull’s Head (February 5, 1985)
[“Isn’t It Romantic”]
Pepper Adams at the Bull’s Head (February 18, 1985)
[“My Shining Hour”]
Pepper Adams at the Ship Hotel (1985)
[“Lady Luck”]
Michael Weiss at the Angry Squire (1985)
(“If You Could See Me Now,” “Milestones”]
Pepper Adams at the San Remo Jazz Festival (1985)
[“Doctor Deep”]
Pepper Adams at the Pellerina Bar (1985)
[“Bye, Bye Blackbird”]
Pepper Adams at the Artists’ Quarter (January 15, 1986)
[“Three Little Words,” “Quiet Lady,” “The Days of Wine and Roses,” “Pent-Up House,”
“’Tis,” “Hellure,” “Bossallegro”]
Pepper Adams at the Artists’ Quarter (January 16, 1986)
[“How Long Has This Been Going On”]
Pepper Adams at the Artists’ Quarter (January 18, 1986)
[“Three and One”]

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Pepper Adams Doings

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

I'm very pleased with the way Chapter 4, "Now in Our Lives," is moving along. I'm at 65 pages and currently listening to all of Pepper's music, issued and otherwise, from 1977-1986 to make sense out of it. There so much material, especially cassettes, so it will take me at least another month or two to work through it all. So far, I'm most impressed with an August 24, 1979 gig with Pepper and the great pianist Roger Kellaway done at the Pizza Express in London. As I wrote, "With Adams and Kellaway feeding off of each other, it's a meeting of two colossal intellects, in some way reminiscent of Monk and Coltrane at the Five Spot in 1958." The greatest performances that night were on "Bye, Bye Blackbird," Adams' ballad "Civilization and Its Discontents," a super-fast version of "Oleo," and a zany, incredibly slow version of Thad Jones' out-theme "'Tis." Just remarkable! Woefully, a record producer didn't hear the two of them together and rush them into the studio.

Once I get through and write about all this music, I only have one more section to write before the chapter is finished and I can get it out to my readers. That section will be about why Pepper was so beloved by his colleagues. I'll talk about his work with the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), his amazing Grammy Awards telecast performance, and other issues. Since there's no more interviews to audition for Chapter 4, the end is in sight.

As for Pepper's materials getting to William Paterson, there's been a delay in delivering the first batch of them. It looks like I won't get them to New Jersey until 2019. I have posted on Instagram a number of documents recently that will be donated to WPU. Check out

I'm very pleased to report that I've begun submitting materials to Rich Falco at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who oversees the Jazz History Database. See A Gary Carner Collection is currently being built to digitize much of my materials for posterity. It will be organized in a similar fashion to Gene Perla's collection: In this way, researchers will only need a computer with an Internet connection to access it. A new batch of stuff goes out tomorrow, including a rare performance of Tommy Flanagan in Korea, 1953, and a Rudy Tucich radio interview with Billy Mitchell. Ultimately, all of my interviews about Pepper Adams will be made available. Please spread the word. Falco is looking to preserve and protect collections throughout the world.  Those of you who are sitting on important material should take a good look at this.

In the last few weeks Georgia State University in Atlanta received my entire book and periodical collection as a donation. They took everything except my JazzTimes and Down Beat mags, which I plan to donate elsewhere. A list of the book materials is below. I'll post the periodicals at GSU in next month's post. Have a great October.

Tomorrow, October 8, is Pepper's birthday!

All paperback unless noted.

Ruppli, Michel. Prestige Label HARD
Ruppli, Michel. Savoy Label HARD
Japanese ed: Complete Blue Note Book
Priestley, Brian. Mingus: A Critical Biography. HARD
Hodeir, Andre. Toward Jazz.
Stokes, W. Royal. The Jazz Scene. HARD
Williams, Martin. Changes. HARD
Lee’s, Gene. Waiting for Dizzy. HARD
Young, Al. Kinda of Blue.
Collier, James Lincoln. Duke Ellington. HARD
Kirchner, Bill. A Miles Davis Reader.
Chambers, Jack. Milestones 2. HARD
Lehman, Jan. Miles Davis Discography. HARD
Tucker, Mark. The Early Years of Duke Ellington. (Dissertation)
Jewel, Derek. Duke.
Tucker, Mark. The Duke Ellington Reader. HARD
Gammond, Peter. Duke Ellington.
Jewel, Derek. A Pietrait if Duke Ellington.
Ulanov, Barry. Duke Ellington. HARD
Dance, Stanley. The World of Duke Ellington.
Simosko, Vladimir. Eric Dolphy.
Chilton, John. McKinney’s Music.
Ruppli, Michel. Charles Mingus Discography.
Reinhardt, Uwe. Like a Human Voice.
Stahl, Tilman. Sun Ra Materials.
Nisenson, Eric. ‘Round About Midnight.
McRae, Barry. Miles Davis.
Mosbrook, Joe. Cleveland Jazz History.
Buerkle; Barker. Bourbon Street Black.
Carr, Ian. Music Outside. HARD
Miller, Mark. Jazz in Canada. HARD
Litchfield, Jack. Canadian Jazz Discography. HARD
Zwerin, Mike. Jazz Writings of Boris Vian.
Zwerin, Mike. Jazz Writings of Boris Vian HARD (2nd copy)
Berton, Ralph. Remembering Bix. HARD
George, Don. The Real Duke Ellington HARD
Gammond, Peter. Duke Ellington. HARD
Jones, Max; John Chilton. Louis. HARD
Abersold, Jamie. Charlie Parker Omnibook.
Iwamoto, Shin-Ichi. Hank Jones Discography.
Frohne, Michael. Lee Konitz Discography.
Weir, Bob. Clifford Brown Discography.
Ingram, Adrian. Wes Montgomery.
Gonzales, Babs. Movin on Down the Line
Murray, Albert. Basie Autobiography. HARD
Ellington, Duke. Music is My Mistress. HARD
Pendold, Mike. Louis Armstrong.
Titon, Jeff. Early Downhome Blues.
Walker, Leo. Big Band Almanac.
Longstreet. Stephen. Jazz From A to Z.
Dial, Harry. Autobiography. HARD
Chilton, John. Bob Crosby.
Hentoff, Nat. Jazz Is. Hard
Friedwald, Will. Jazz Singing. HARD
Korall, Burt. Drummin’ Men. HARD
Erlich, Lillian. What Jazz Is All About. HARD
Clayton, Peter; Peter Gammond. 14 Miles on a Clear Night. HARD
Larkin, Philip. All What Jazz.
McRae, Barry. Jazz Handbook. HARD
Cerchiari Luca. Jazz Degli Anni Settanta.
Leonard, Neil. Jazz Myth and Religion. HARD
Pleasants, Henry. Serious Music — and All That Jazz. HARD
Gelly, David. Lester Young. HARD
Freeman, Bud. You Don’t Look Like a Musician. HARD
Voce, Steve. Woody Herman.
Taylor, Arthur. Notes and Tones.
Ogren, Kathy. The Jazz Revolution.
Rusch, Robert. Jazz Talk. HARD
Gioia, Ted. Imperfect Art. HARD
Wilmer, Valerie. Jazz People. HARD
Turner, Frederick. Remembering Song. HARD
Williams, Martin. Where’s the Melody? HARD
Feather, Leonard. From Satchmo to Miles.
Russo, William. Composing for the Jazz Orchestra.
Course, Leslie. Louis’ Children.
Balliett, Whitney. Goodbyes and Other Messages. HARD
Williams, Martin. Jazz in Its Time. HARD
Kirkeby, Ed. Ain’t Misbehavin’
Shacter, James. Piano Man. HARD
Turner, Bruce. Hot Air: Cool Music.
Shaw, Arnold. The Jazz Age. HARD
Jones, Max. Talking Jazz. HARD
Williams, Martin. The Art of Jazz
Lindsay, Martin. Teach Yourself Jazz. HARD
Davis, Francis. Bebop and Nothingness. HARD
Wilmer, Valerie. Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This. HARD
Gourse, Leslie. Story of Joe Williams. HARD
Porter, Lewis. Lester Young. HARD
Hentoff, Nat. Jazz.
Rich, Alan. Simon & Schuster Listener’s Guide to Jazz.
Kaminsky, Max. My Life in Jazz. HARD
Newton, Francis. The Jazz Scene. HARD
Abe, K. Jazz Giants. HARD
Coryell, Julie; Lara Friedman. Jazz-Rock Fusion. HARD
Smith, Willie “The Lion.” Music on My Mind. HARD
Anon. Jazz history in cyrillic.
Headlock, Richard. Jazz Masters of the Twenties. HARD
Rockwell, John. All American Music. HARD
Schiller, Gunther. Musings. HARD
Giddins, Gary. Rhythm-A-Ning. HARD
Hammond, John. On Record. HARD
Blesh, Rudi. Combo USA. HARD
Blesh, Rudi. Shining Trumpets.
Radano, Ronald. New Musical Figurations.
Keepnews, Orrin. The View From Within. HARD
Hartman, Charles. Jazz Text. HARD
Gleason, Ralph J. Celebrating the Duke.
Persip, Charli. How Not to Play the Drums.
Simon, George T. The Big Bands.
Simon, George T. The Big Bands (2nd copy)
Murray, Albert. Stomping the Blues.
Chevigny, Paul. Gigs. HARD
Lyttelton, Humphrey. Jazz. HARD
Lyttelton, Humphrey. Jazz II.
Lyttelton, Humphrey. Jazz II. (2nd copy)
Lyttelton, Humphrey. Jazz II. (3rd copy)
Hodeir, Andre. Jazz: It’s Evolution and Essence.
Hodeir, Andre. Jazz: It’s Evolution and Essence. (2nd copy)
Hentoff, Nat; Albert J. McCarthy. Jazz.
Shapiro, Nat; May Hentoff The Jazz Makers. HARD
Hodeir, Andre. The World of Jazz.
Feather, Leonard; Jack Tracy Laughter from the Hip.
Rogelio, Pauline; Robert Levin. Giants of. Black Music.
Dance, Stanley. The World of Swing.
Feather, Leonard. The Jazz Years.
Sidran, Ben. Black Talk.
Feather, Leonard. From Satchmo to Miles.
Lees, Gene. Meet Me at Jim and Andy’s. HARD.
Budds, Michael. Jazz in the Sixties.
Gitler, Ira. Jazz Masters of the Forties.
Gitler, Ira. Jazz Masters of the Forties. (2d copy)
Goldberg, Joe. Jazz Masters of the Fifties. HARD
Jones, LeRoi. Blues People.
Buchmann-Moller, Frank. ThecStory of Lester Young.
Laubich, Arnold; Ray Spencer. Art Tatum. HARD
Porter, Lewis. Lester Young Reader.
Kofsky, Frank. Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music.
Williams, Martin. Jazz Masters of New Orleans.
Feather, Leonard. The Pleasures of Jazz.
Jones, LeRoi. Black Music.
Feather, Leonard. Inside Jazz.
Ullman, Michael. Jazz Lives.
Korall, Burt. Drummin’ Men. (2nd copy) HARD
Waters, Benny. The Key to a Jazzy Life.
Sonnier, Austin. Bunk Johnson.
Chilton, John. A Jazz Nursery.
Priestley, Brian. Charlie Parker.
Papo, Alfredo. El Jazz a Catalunya.
Bechet, Sidney. Great It Gentle.
Zinsser, William. Willie and Dwike. HARD
Berendt, Joachim-Ernst. Jazz: A Photo History. HARD
Brask, Ole; Dan Morgenstern. Jazz People. HARD
Baron, Stanley. Benny: King of Swing. HARD
Cerulli, Dom; et al. The Jazz Word.
Cotterell, Roger; Barry Tepperman. Joe Harriott.
Schlouch, Claude. Bud Powell on Record.
Suzuki, Naoki. Herbie Hancock.
Giddins, Gary. Celebrating Bird.
Wild, David; Michael Cuscuna. Ornette Coleman.
Astrup, Arne. Zoot Sims Discography.
Knox, Keith. Jazz Amour Affair.
Delauney, Charles. Django Reinhardt.
Kukla, Barbara. Swing City. HARD
Dance, Stanley. The World of Earl Hines.
White, John. Billie Holiday. HARD
O’Mealy, Robert. Last Day.
Reisner, Robert. Bird.
Calloway, Cab. Of Minnie the Moocher and Me. HARD
Marquis, Donald. In Search of Buddy Bolden. HARD
Bigard, Barney. With Louis and the Duke. HARD
Horricks, Raymond. Stephane Grappelli.
Bookspan, Martin. Andre Previn. HARD
Haskins, Jim. Dinah Washington. HARD
Machlin, Paul. Stride. HARD
Palmer, Richard. Oscar Peterson. HARD
Davis, Francis. History of the Blues. HARD.
Carner, Gary. Miles Davis Companion.
Schafer, William. Brass Bands and New Orleans Jazz.
Barnet, Charlie; Stanley Dance. Those Swinging Years. HARD
Bernhardt, Clyde. I Remember.
Ruttencutter, Helen. Previn. HARD
Hawes, Hampton. Raise Up Off Me.
Page, Drew. Drew’s Blues. HARD
Lees, Gene. Oscar Peterson. HARD
Pepper, Art. Straight Life. HARD
O’Day, Anita. High Times, Hard Times. HARD
Wright, Laurie. King Oliver. HARD
Claghorn, Charles. Biographical Dictionary. HARD
Horn, Paul. Inside Paul Horn. HARD
Meryman, Richard. Louis Armstrong. HARD
Biagioni, Egino. Herb Fleming.
Colin, Sid. Ella. HARD
Jepsen, Jorgen. Dizzy Gillespie.
Armstrong, Louis. My Life in New Orleans.
Clarke, Donald. Wishing on the Moon. HARD
Gilmore. John. Who’s Who of Jazz in Montreal.
Pearson, Nathan. Goin’ to Kansas City. HARD.
Sallis, James. The Guitar in Jazz. HARD
Miller, Mark. Boogie, Pete and the Senator.
Carr, Ian. Keith Jarrett. HARD
Charters, Samuel. Jazz New Orleans.
Davis, Miles; Quicey Troupe. Miles. HARD
Calendar, Red; Elaine Cohen. Unfinished Dream. HARD
Balliett, Whitney. Barney, Bradley and Max. HARD
Reisner, Robert. Bird. HARD (2nd copy)
Crowther, Bruce. Gene Krupa. HARD
Charters, Samuel B; Leonard Feather. History of the New York Scene.
Horricks, Raymond. Gil Evans. HARD
Horricks, Raymond. Dizzy Gillespie. HARD
Dexter, Dave. The Jazz Story.
Allen, Walter C. Hendersonia. HARD
Mezzrow, Mezz. Really the Blues. HARD
Clancy, William; Audree Coke Kenton. Woody Herman. HARD
Zwerin, Mike. Jazz Under the Nazis. HARD
Bisset, Andrew. History of Jazz in Australia.
Herman, Woody; Stuart Troup. Woodchopper’s Ball. HARD
Gillespie, Dizzy; Al Fraser. To Be or Not to Bop. HARD
Brown, Nat; Cyril Brown. Nat Gonella Story. HARD
Freeman, Bud. Crazeology. HARD
Simon, George T. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. HARD
Balliett, Whitney. Night Creature. HARD
Balliett, Whitney. Night Creature. HARD (2nd copy)
Balliett, Whitney. American Singers.
Balliett, Whitney. New York Notes. HARD
Balliett, Whitney. New York Notes. (2nd copy)
Panassie, Hugues. Louis Armstrong.
Lomax, Alan. Mister Jelly Roll.
Goodman, Benny; Irving Kolodin. The Kingdom of Swing.
Panassie, Hugues; Madeleine Gautier. Guide to Jazz. HARD
de Valk, Jeroen. Chet Baker. HARD
Noglik, Bert. Jazz-Werkstatt. HARD
Holiday, Billie; William Duffy. Lady Sings the Blues.
Spellman, A.B. Four Lives in the Bebop Business.
Britt, Stan. Dexter Gordon
Mingus, Charles. Beneath the Underdog.
Mingus, Charles. Beneath the Underdog (2nd copy)
Chilton, John. Billie’s Blues.
Gonzales, Babs. I, Paid My Dues.
James, Burnett. Coleman Hawkins. HARD
James, Burnett. Billie Holiday. HARD
Mellers, Wilfrid. Music in a New Found Land.
Placksin, Sally. Jazzwomen.
Westerberg, Hans. Boy from New Orleans.
Villetard, Jean-Francois. Coleman Hawkins. Vol I.
Villetard, Jean-Francois. Coleman Hawkins. Vol II.
Jepsen, Jorgen. Miles Davis.
Spellman, A.B. Four Lives in the Bebop Business. (2nd copy)
James, Michael. Dizzy Gillespie.
Balliett, Whitney. Goodbyes and Other Messages.
Litweiler, John. The Freedom Principle. HARD
Chamberlain, Dorothy; Robert Wilson. The Oris Ferguson Reader.
Sjogren, Thorbjorn. Long Tall Dexter.
McPartland, Marian. All in Good Time. HARD
Ramsey, Frederick; Charles Edward Smith. Jazzmen.
Davis, Francis. Outcast. HARD
Harrison, Max. A Jazz Retrospect.
Hentoff, Nat. The Jazz Life. HARD
Davis, Francis. In the Moment.
Hentoff, Nat. Hear Zane Talkin’ to Ya.
Young, Al. Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.
Giddins, Gary. Riding on a Blue Note.
Gordon, Robert. Jazz. HARD
Williams, Martin. Jazz Heritage.
Williams, Martin. Jazz Tradition.
Gitler, Ira. Swing to Bop.
Carr, Peter George Winfield’s Story.
Morgan, Alun. Count Basie. HARD
Ojakaar, Valter. Jazz. HARD
Ulanov, Barry. A History of Jazz in America. HARD
Ostransky, Leroy. Understanding Jazz.
deToledano, Ralph. Frontiers of Jazz. HARD
Martin, Henry. Enjoying Jazz.
Sales, Grover. Jazz.
Stearns, Marshall. The Story of Jazz.
Allen, Daniel. Bibliography of Discographies. HARD
Gridley, Mark. Jazz Styles and Analysis.
Chilton, John. Jazz.
Britt, Stan. The Jazz Guitarists.
Gold, Robert. Jazz Talk.
Balliett, Whitney. American Musicians. HARD
McCarthy, Albert. Big Band Jazz. HARD
Dale, Rodney. Jazz HARD
Keepnews, Orrin. Pictorial History of Jazz. HARD
Krivin, Joan. Jazz Studies.
Gottlieb, William. Golden Age ofJazz. HARD
Stewart, Chuck. Jazz Files.
McCarthy, Albert. Dance Band Era. HARD
Driggs, Frank. Black Beauty, White Heat. HARD
Wilmer, Valerie. Face of Black Music.
Collier, James Lincoln. The Making of Jazz.
Summerfield, Maurice. Jazz Guitar. HARD
Anon. Greek jazz history I
Anon. Greek jazz history II
Sallis, James. Jazz Guitars.
Nisenson, Eric. Open Sky.
Palmer, Richard. Sonny Rollins.
Noal Cohen; Michael Fitzgerald. Rat Race Blues.
Kinkle, Roger. Complete Encyclopedia. HARD
Feather, Leonard. Book of Jazz. HARD
Poindexter, Pony. Pony Express.
Berger, Morroe; et al. Benny Carter Vol I
Berger, Morroe; et al. Benny Carter Vol II
Tirro, Frank. Jazz.
Carner, Gary. Miles Davis Companion (2nd copy)
Thomas, JC. Chasin’ the Trane.
Stearns, Marshall. Story of Jazz.
Lotz, Rainer. AFRS Jubilee I HARD
Lotz, Rainer. AFRS Jubilee II HARD
Condon, Eddie; Hank O’Neal. Eddie Codon Scrapbook. HARD
Copeland, Keith. Creative Coordination.
Schlouch, Claude. Wardell Gray.
Schlouch, Claude. Kenny Dorham.
Anon. Yu-Jazz.
Mehegan. John. Tonal and Rhythmic Principles.
Gridley, Mark. How to Teach Jazz History.
Abersold, Jamey. II-V-I Progression.
Anon. The Real Book.
Erwin, Pee Wee. Teaches You to Play the Trumpet.
Collins, Lee; Mary Collins. Oh, Didn’t He Ramble. HARD.
Vann, Kimberly. Black Music in Ebony.
De Lerma, Dominique-Rene. Black Music and Musicians.
Turi, Gabor. Jazz from Hungary.
Chambers, Jack. Milestones. HARD
Carner, Gary. Pepper Adams’ Joy Road
Carr, Ian. Miles Davis.
Simpkins, C.O. Coltrane.
Clayton, Buck. Clayton’s Jazz World. HARD
Kravetz, Sallie. The Reluctant Jazz Star.
Lateef, Yusef; et al. Writings.
Wattiau, George. Book’s Book.
Monti, Pierre Andre. Booker Little.
Starr, S. Frederick. Red and Hot. HARD
Johnson, Grady. The Five Pennies.
Barker, Danny. A Life in Jazz.
Klinkowitz, Jerome. Listen. HARD
Slovo, Gillian. Morbid Symptoms. HARD
Locke, David. Drum Gahu.
Calling, Patrick. Jazz, Jazz, Jazz.
Guralnick, Peter. Feel Like Going Home.
Charters, Samuel. Legacy of the Blues.
Palmer, Robert. Deep Blues. HARD
Albertson, Chris. Bessie.
Sawyer, Charles. Arrival of B.B. King. HARD
Breton, Marcela. Hot and Cool.
Kroeze, Hans. International Jazz Festival.
Bernstein, Leonard. The Unanswered Question.
Hinton, Milt. Bass Line. HARD
Litwak, Howard. Goin’ to Kansa City.
Mazur, Mladen. 10th Zagreb Jazz Fair.
Walrath, Jack. Book 1.
Lerner, Edward. Study Scores.
Holoman, D. Kern. Writing About Music.
Solomon, Maynard. Beethoven.
Sollors, Werner. Beyond Ethnicity.
Marshall, Robert. Mozart Speaks.
Barlow and Morgenstern. Dictionary of Musical Themes.
Cowell, Henry. Charles Ives.
Robertson, Alec. Pelican History if Music.
Poling, James. Squire World of Jazz. HARD
Anon. Mozart: Later Symphonies.
Brahms, Johannes. Schubert: Four Symphonies.
Simandl, F. New Method for Double Bass.
Piston, Walter. Harmony. HARD
Reid, Rufus. Evolving Bassist.
Duckles, Vincent. Music Reference and Research Materials. HARD
Persicjetti, Vincent. Twentieth Century Harmony. HARD
Titon, Jeff. Worlds of Music. HARD
Shostakovich, Dimitri. Testimony. HARD
Crofton, Ian; Donald Fraser. Dictionary of Musical Quotations.
Kamien, Roger. Norton Scores.
Thomson, Elizabeth; David Gutman. Lennon Companion.
Gillies, Malcolm. Bartok Remembered.
Lipsitz, George. Time Passages.
Lambert, Constant. Music Ho!
Feinstein, Elaine. Bessie Smith.
Morris, Edmund. Beethoven. HARD.
Nettl, Bruno. Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology. HARD
Baker, Houston. Blues.
Feld, Steven. Sound and Sentiment.
Cage, John. Silence.
Stevens, Halsey. Life and Music of Bella Bartok.
Kennedy, Michael. Mahler.
Anon, Index to Negro Spirituals.
Wild, David. Recordings of John Coltrane.
Schiff. Ronnie. Jazz, Blues, Boogie & Swing for Piano.
Silverman, Jerry. Chords and Tunings.
Glover, Tony. Blues Harp.
Ake, David. Jazz Cultures.
Ake, David; et al. Jazz/Not Jazz. HARD
Ake, David. Jazz Matters. HARD
Duckles, Vincent. Music Reference and Research Materials. HARD
Amram, David. Vibrations. HARD
Gilmore, John. Swinging in Paradise.
Dance, Stanley. The World of Count Basie
Segall, Michael. The Devil’s Horn.
Wilber, Bob. Music Was Never Enough. HARD
Gordon, Max. Live at the Lvilkage Vanguard. HARD
Balliett,Whitney. Barney, Bradley and Max. HARD
Floyd, Samuel. Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance.
Rosenthal, David. Hard Bop. HARD.
Leitch, Peter. Off the Books.
Holladay, Doc. Life, on the Fence.
LaPorta, John. Developing the Stage Band.
Smith, Chris. The View From the Back of the Band. HARD

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Return of the Pepper Bio

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

I've begun writing Part II of Pepper Adams' biography (1930-1986). In the last two weeks I've written about forty pages, starting with Pepper's death at home on September 10, 1986 and working my way back in time. My plan is to write in reverse chronological order until I reach the end of Part I, when Pepper packed his bags and moved to New York. Then, having come full circle, I'll conclude by assessing whether what he set out to do in music was actually achieved.

I've finished listening again to the interview I did with Tommy and Diana Flanagan. They had a lot to say about how Pepper approached death, how and why his marriage collapsed, and what really took place versus what the New York jazz community thought was going on. I quote a few very poignant letters to give a sense of what Pepper was enduring at that time. The one below was written as a kind of confessional and published in the July, 1986 issue of JazzTimes. By the time of its publication, he would only have about six more weeks before he passed away:

I’d like to thank you for the kind words in the current JazzTimes, and thank you particularly for stressing the fact that I’m continuing to work. People have been exceedingly kind, and their contributions have been quite helpful, but opposed to the cost of the treatments that are, to put it bluntly, keeping me alive, private charity can only go so far. The bulk of the costs have been offset by my own efforts in being able to work, and work effectively. And, if I may say so myself, I’ve done remarkably well for fourteen months, and the next three months appear quite secure.

And this despite the efforts of a few unscrupulous agents, who have used my name to secure work and then, when the job was secure, informed the purchaser that I was too ill to perform and substituted someone else. I’ve learned about these incidents when the purchaser (club owner, festival executive, etc.) would call to commiserate about my health when I was sitting home, feeling fine but out of work. I wonder if these agents considered that by eroding my reputation for reliability they were diminishing my chances for survival; if they did think about it, they were obviously not deterred. Which is why I consider it important that people be reminded occasionally that I’m still a credible working musician. . . .

I must report, though, that my string of playing every job I had contracted for has finally come to an end. It happened on my last trip to Europe, in April, which ended in near-disaster. It started at the Dublin Festival, where they drove me into the ground like a tent peg. I had five concerts with five different bands (four of them requiring lengthy rehearsals), a 2 1/2 hour master class, and a live television show, all within three days. I was already in a lot of pain when I arrived in Paris to work seven straight nights at Le Petit Opportun; after five nights the pain became so overwhelming that I had to sit out the last two nights.

When I got home it was discovered that I had a severe case of pleurisy, which was raging out of control since it had been there, untreated, for ten days or so. My oncologist held off the chemotherapy while I was in such rotten shape, but finally the point was reached when it had to be administered, ready or not. I could tell that the doctor was worried and, frankly, so was I, but it’s worked out well. I’m recovering nicely. I’ve felt nearly myself for several days, and still have a couple of weeks to recoup my strength before I resume work. My itinerary through the middle of September is sprinkled with nice paydays, and at no point so burdensome as to tempt a return bout of the pleurisy, nor of the pneumonia I went through twice last winter. Things are definitely looking up.

Since I'm donating my large book and periodical collection to Georgia State University, I have in front of me access to this huge jazz library that for fourteen years was packed up in boxes in my basement. I've spent this month skimming through many articles from Wire, Cadence, JazzTimes, Down Beat, Jazz Journal and many others to locate interesting tidbits I can use for color in the narrative. So far, I've found these:

“He was terrified when the band started to swing, he didn’t understand it,” said the bassist Red Kelly.

“If Elvin was anything drum-wise, it’s about fullness of sound . . . the absolute fullness of the tonal palette,” said the saxophonist Dave Liebman.

“It was very grueling," said Joe Temperley. "There used to be some awful bus journeys. It was a hard life, you know: ten-hour bus ride and you’d get to the job twenty minutes before you had to hit, then change your clothes in the toilet downstairs and play all night. And then, maybe sleep that night and then the next night you would hit and run; but you play the gig. You sleep all night and travel all day to the gig, and play the gig -- this is the second night -- play the gig and then travel all night to save a night’s rent. Those were the days. That happened all the time.”

“New York was vibrant then," said Joe Temperley. "You could go and hear Al and Zoot; go one night and Phil would be sitting in with them and another night Richie Kamuca would be sitting in with them. You could go hear John Coltrane and sit all night -- buy a bottle of beer, two bottles of beer -- and sit all night and listen to the music.”

“When I left in ‘68," said Art Farmer, "the United States was in a very bad situation. There were assassinations, social unrest, people afraid to go out at night, and with so many jazz clubs in the so-called ‘ghetto areas,’ people felt that they were taking their lives in their hands if they went out to hear jazz. That had a bad effect on a person who tried to play for a live public.”

Mel Lewis’ greatest influence was the drummer Tiny Kahn, said the bassist Red Kelly.

“I heard Pepper say a couple of things that made me know that he and Thad had been very close in their lives," said Seldon Powell. "And I think they were still close, but there maybe was a rub or two here and there. Pepper told Thad one time, when he figured that he wasn’t getting his share of solos and whatnot. But I remember Pepper saying one time -- somebody said something about that to Pepper, and he turned and said to him, ‘When I was in the army and they sent me to Japan during the Korean War,’ he said, ‘I received two letters the entire time I was over there. One of them was from Thad Jones.’ And the inflection that was in his voice told me something about how he felt about [Thad]. They might have had a conflict here or there but I’m sure they felt very close to each other as human beings and as musicians, and they were the giants of their time.”

See you next month,

Sunday, August 5, 2018

July's Pepper Activities

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

I'm very proud to report that just last night I put the finishing touches on Part I of my Pepper Adams biography. Called "Ascent," it loosely covers the first half of Pepper's life, from birth until his move to New York City in early 1956. Although this may imply that the book is a chronologically arranged narrative, that's definitely not the case. Instead, my approach is thematic in nature. I zig-zag across his life where appropriate. For example, I open the book with his epiphany in Detroit, when, as a teenage, he heard Charlie Parker at the Mirror Ballroom. Then I trace how Pepper got back to Detroit from Rochester, New York, after which I discuss his time in Detroit until he enlists in the U.S Army. In sum, the first part of the book covers Pepper from age seventeen until twenty or so before I even get to his Army experience. In Chapter Two I discuss his paternal lineage and his time as a child in Rochester. His Army experience opens Chapter Three, Ascent's final section, followed by quite a long discussion of his Detroit experience in the 1950s, his maternal background, and why Detroit was such an extraordinary place for jazz.

One reason it took another month to wrap up Part I is that I was waiting for my last reader to critique my final draft of Chapter Three and the Prologue. On Friday I finished incorporating my reader's various suggestions to both. Yesterday and today I improved the Prologue's content and added a new paragraph, describing how Pepper Adams has become a spiritual calling for me. Finally, I can truly say that it's time to move on to Part II ("Dominion"), after sixteen months of work. That, of course, won't keep me from peeking at the Prologue a few more times to make sure that I'm totally happy with it.

Also, this past month I was able to finish the very tedious job of transforming what was formerly my set of footnotes into a section retitled "Sources." Now my quotes are more properly placed in the back of the book. This is the modern way of listing attributions, so as to not disturb the reading experience. I've found that this approach also prevents me from submerging somewhat arcane information that didn't quite fit into the text somewhere else in the book. Oh, well.

I'm also pleased to tell you that quite a few upgrades were made in July to First, an update to my Byrd-Adams Quintet piece was posted. It includes new information on when the two first played together in Detroit. It was with the Charles Johnson band, by the way, and only for a short period of time. See

I've also added part of the analysis section from my Tufts University masters thesis in Articles: You'll see how I attempted to qualify a bunch of Pepper solos. It was my thesis director, T.J. Anderson's, idea to do it in this manner.

The biography/musical study in progress now has its own book icon. You'll see it at at directly under Pepper Adams' Joy Road. If you click through, you can access music examples that I'm discussing in Part I of the book. Listed already in boldface are Pepper's earliest recorded baritone solos (Hugh Jackson) and his very first recorded clarinet solo (Oliver Shearer) from 1947 when he was sixteen! New material will continue to be added so please check it out!

Three other additions have been made to the site in July. The first Disco Update in over a year has been posted:

The Dedications page is almost complete:

And my extensive history of Detroit, formerly written for the Pepper biography, has been posted: 

Have a great rest of the summer!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Detroit Jazz

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

First, a happy July 4th holiday to all. Over the last few weeks I’ve been busy making significant refinements to Chapter 1 of my Pepper Adams biography. My final reader suggested numerous changes to the chapter. Fortunately, Chapters 2 and 3 remained unscathed!

Mostly, my long and somewhat tangential history of Detroit from 1694 to the mid-1950s, “Detroit Drives the Nation,” has been removed. It’s now posted at  in the place of “Videos.” That was an internal redundancy on the web site that we retained for a while. All the Pepper Adams videos are now available by clicking the YouTube icon on the top of the page:

I made other, more subtle improvements to my manuscript. I think the first chapter is now much tighter and better focused on Adams. As of now, only my Preface needs some work before I can finally add a few last things from the interviews I conducted with a few Detroiters. Then it’s time to begin the second half of the bio, 1956-1986.

In addition to the new article posted about Detroit, other upgrades have been made to since May’s blog. The Dedications page ( has been further fleshed out with new postings. Added are those dedications to Pepper Adams written by
Thanks to all of them for providing the music samples and lead sheets. All that now remains is posting four remaining pieces: Thad Jones’ dedication, “Two As One,” and those done by Alain Cupper, Osian Roberts and Pete Lukas. If anybody else out there has written a dedication to Pepper Adams, please let me know and we’ll post it.

In a few previous posts I promised to share some of the comments about Pepper that were made by the saxophonist Doc Holladay and the drummer Eddie Locke in interviews I conducted many years ago. Here’s a few gems from Holladay:

Pepper was a very talented cat. He knew he was talented, I think. I always had the feeling that Pepper really knew how talented he was, and it was a frustration for him to realize that people didn’t appreciate him.

I personally feel he was the greatest ‘change player’ in the world, as far as playing changes. I don’t know anybody who could touch him. . . . He could play twenty or thirty choruses without ever repeating himself.

On gigs with Holladay. Pepper liked to play a blues, and cycle through all twelve keys, each chorus in a different key (F to B-flat to E-flat, etc). It was just phenomenal!

Pepper used the Service as a school, in a sense. Pepper would get his horn out and he would spend a lot of time in the barracks. His routine was he got a fakebook. He’d pick a tune, and he would learn that tune to where he really had it by memory, and then he’d start playing the tune. We’re talking about the melody now. He’d play that melody, and he’d start playing it in all different keys. So he had that tune in all kinds of keys and be comfortable with it. Then he’d start playing off the changes of the tune, and he’d start doing that until he’d get the changes down to where he could run the changes on the tune, and then he’d start to run that in all the keys. He would digest a tune, just take it apart, make it his own, and then he would go on to the next tune. All the time he was in the Service, in the band where I observed him, he was constantly doing that. A new tune every day or two. He could play for hours. The rest of the guys would go out to hang out and party, and Pepper would be in there taking a tune apart.

I don’t think I ever heard him run patterns as such.

As for Eddie Locke’s comments, here are some of his observations about Pepper and Detroit in the 1940s and 1950s:

You were always trying to get to the big joints: The Flame, The Frolic, the Chesterfield Lounge. Those were on John R. Chesterfield: Pepper played in there. Roland Hanna used to play in there . . . When you played on John R, that means you were getting established. You were jamming no more.

Sam’s and Joe’s Record Shops on Hastings St. had some recording studios in the back where they cut records.

A real jazz man will play his instrument no matter what. He’s gonna play. He’s not gonna make an excuse for not playing by saying, “Something is wrong. I can’t play.” If you love it so much, it doesn’t make any difference. No dollars, bad musicians, good musicians, mediocre musicians. You’re gonna blow!

Pepper just happened to also be a great player. But he was a real jazz man. That’s something different, even being a great player. . . A real jazz man is rare. That’s a lifestyle. That’s not just going to school, and that’s what Pepper was about. In Detroit, you played in the joints -- slop jobs in those old, funky places. That’s a jazz man. He wasn’t trying to play in Carnegie Hall every night. He was just going to play some music because he loved to play. . . . People wanted to play with him because he was jazz man.

There were so many scenes, different kind of bands, and it all becomes a part of you when you’re around it.