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!