Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Biography Update

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and New Year’s. Hopefully, no one caught the flu or a headcold. My apologies for the delay in posting this. I started a new gig that has me working during the weekends.

December was a great month for me. I finished Chapter Four of the Adams biography, leaving only two more to do, and I began Chapter Five. As of this writing, I’ve written twenty pages of Chapter Five, plus the opening page of Chapter Six. It’s so exciting that the blueprint for the bio’s conclusion is now in place. The end of this colossal project is now visible. I can’t begin to tell you how much this journey has meant to me, and how happy I am that I’m almost finished with the biography. That said, there’s still plenty of work to do. Besides the writing, there’s a ton of tapes and LPs to heard anew.

Chapter Four is 43 pages, by far my shortest. Then again, it has associated with it a 34-page Listener’s Guide as an appendix. Put together, it’s about the same length as the other chapters. There will be three Listener’s Guides in the book: 1977-1986 for Chapter Four, 1964-1977 for Chapter Five and 1956-1964 for Chapter Six. Each will discuss my favorite Pepper Adams performances during each of those timespans, and each cut that I discuss will be linked to samples so you can hear the music as you read along. Other music links, too, will be sprinkled throughout the main text. The aim is to make the book interactive.

Here’s outlines to Chapter Four and Chapter Five (in progress):

Chapter Four: Now in Our Lives

Last concert in Montreal
Cancer diagnosis and last recordings
Benefit for Pepper Adams, cancer treatments
Final gigs and last days
Marriage separation, alcoholism, car accident
Courtship and wedding
Pepper at a crossroads with Thad/Mel
Great recordings as a soloist, 1977-1984
Pepper as a beloved figure

Chapter Five: Civilization and Its Discontents

The Thad Jones-Pepper Adams Quintet
New York in the Mid-1960s
Pepper in Europe, 1969-1977
The Inception of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

Adam Schroeder has completed six more Pepper Adams solo transcriptions. They have been posted at http://www.pepperadams.com/Transcriptions/index.html

I’ve been in touch recently with the baritone saxophonist Anders Svanoe. He’s done a great deal of pioneering work regarding the Detroit alto saxophonist Sonny Red. See http://sonnyredmusic.com/ Svanoe has invited me to speak about Pepper to his class at Beloit College this coming April. I’m looking forward to it in part because I came very close to attending Beloit many years ago. I’m curious what it looks and feels like there.

My lecture at Beloit is one of five scheduled for that tour. I’m also giving talks at Western Illinois University, Northern Iowa University, Winona State University, and the University of Wisconsin (Lacrosse). A few more lectures are likely to be added in the coming weeks. I’ll be sure to fill you in soon, in case any of you wish to attend. Additionally, there’s a chance that Svanoe might schedule a concert at an arts center in Madison, Wisconsin, in which he would play some Pepper’s tunes, then I’d give an abbreviated talk. More about that, should it come to pass.

I’m expecting to make the first three chapters of the book available as an e-book sometime before the summer of 2019. Furthermore, I’m hoping to get Chapter Five done this year and Chapter Six done in 2020. Lastly, there’s been tangible progress with the big band date I produced of Pepper Adams arrangements. I’ll let you know when I have more progress to report.