Sunday, May 7, 2023

Updates to


I learned recently that Claudette Adams, Pepper’s widow, has passed away.

Excerent Music, Pepper’s publishing company, is likely now being overseen

by Dylan Hill, her son and Pepper's stepson.

I’ve been told that the Excelsior paperback version of Reflectory: The Life

and Music of Pepper Adams will be published this September. Once

available, a link to it will be posted on, and it will be sold

through online booksellers, such as I’ve also been told that it

may also be available at neighborhood bookstores, at least in the US,

though you may have to order it.

Updates made to  my liner notes for Paul Tynan and Aaron Lington’s new

Bicoastal Collective release were just submitted.Their record company’s

owner didn’t like my opening, feeling it wasn’t directly about Tynan and

Lington, and that it also sounded like “sour grapes”:

Inasmuch as Wynton Marsalis has served as a double-threat jazz and

classical recording artist, why haven’t Paul Tynan and Aaron Lington

done the same? Both possess the pedigree, musicianship, and virtuosity

that made Marsalis a dual cash cow for Columbia Records beginning in

the 1980s, when Tynan and Lington were youngsters. Marsalis’s status

as the only jazz player in the 1980s and ’90s who, as a featured soloist,

also recorded the classical repertoire with symphony orchestras, is typical

in the US. According to Robert Frank and Philip Cook’s The Winner-

Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest

of Us

, “Top performers tend to monopolize pay and prestige, leaving little in the

way of either gain or glory for the vast numbers of also-rans.” Alas, although

Tynan and Lington by the mid-nineties were eminently qualified to be

featured on both jazz and classical dates, offers never came their way. 

The most recent Pepper Adams roundtable that Lington and I convened, #4,

should be posted on YouTube and The first three are here: Some modifications still need to be made to fix a few music examples. The

event broke new ground, and musicians should be delighted with it. Panel #5

can be expected sometime this fall, corresponding with the paperback release

Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer.

Peter Kang’s third-year recital of Adams tunes at University of Toronto is here:  I hope to post his charts at

A new version of Disco Updates, the place where I make changes and

corrections to Joy Road: An Annotated Discography of Pepper Adams, has

been posted. So too have updates to three parts of Adams’s chronology:

Early Years: 19301958, Byrd-Adams Quintet: 19581961, and Journeyman: 19611964. 

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