As part of the International Celebration of Pepper Adams that's taking place from August-November, 2012 in the United States, Canada, and England, baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan will be performing the music of Pepper Adams throughout England. His tour there in November includes a concert as featured soloist with Tony Faulkner's Yorkshire Jazz Orchestra on 23 November at Seven Arts in Leeds. Smulyan will be performing a concert of new arrangements of Pepper Adams compositions, written by Faulkner especially for the Adams celebration.
Here are four lyrics, written by the esteemed poet Barry Wallenstein, that he wrote for Pepper's Julian, Urban Dreams, Lovers of Their Time, and Civilization and Its Discontents. These and three others will be released in September on the Motema Music CD Alexis Cole Sings Pepper Adams, featuring Pat LaBarbera and Eric Alexander, with arrangements by Jeremy Kahn.
Look up above to the giants looming high,
look up to crystal gods of steel.
They show the signs of our lusting,
our dreaming and our love,
with buildings breeding crowds above.
Now casting down shade for our glide in summertime,
for comforts so slow in the heat.
For as we slide in the summertime, our arms intertwined,
we cool down in the city's shade.
Fast streets, bright corners, sharp edged and wild,
take me, oh, take me far.
From the icy cityscape, we escape
to the gentle warmth of the Lenox Lounge.
Look up above to the giants looming large,
look up to crystal gods of glass.
For as we slide into summertime, arms intertwined,
promenading in this urban dream.
Lovers of Their Time
Lovers of their time clearly wanting more,
as in a taste beyond the tonic,
the spinning sands along the shore,
the far-off shore.
In movement, red-faced lovers waltz.
Spellbound to their cores gathering bliss, a magic kiss,
gathering bliss, a magic kiss.
Lovers of their time: tremble, smile and weep once more.
Holding off sleep, they hold the view.
They will not change, they dare not move.
Having the time, the blessing.
The rich gift of watching time comes to their hearts,
settles within the chamber's mind.
Within the beat he drove his sound
from the cannon out to the stars.
He never knew fangs of fame.
For they played Mercy Mercy under his spell;
they played it well.
Within his heart he struck a match,
lit the wick, preserving the flame,
and Cannonball became his name.
Never was the end in sight. It never came;
he flew so high he never died.
And the music is now, now burnished bright.
Note follows note to be reborn.
The sounds in time do a free fall
into the folds, the folds of time.
Oh, shine on gold and silver horns,
stay true beyond all remorse.
Your inner breath beats so true.
Now untamed to the lonely soul,
too wild to lose, or to live without.
Civilization and Its Discontents
The world is old, the condition too new
to dream away from the weathering kiss
which it warns, and does not savor fear
of what the wind can or can not do.
The world is old, the condition so new.
We turn away from a brother's sweet kiss
that was fine and did not touch on fear
of what war does or will never do.
The winds are strong, so very dark around our lives,
into our lives. The vivid past, the loving thriving past,
The following tunes will be released on a physical CD and as a digital sampler by Motema Records in August. These tunes, intended for radio play, are taken from the Complete Works of Pepper Adams, Volumes 1-5, also being released in August. Leaders of these dates are Jeremy Kahn, Kevin Bales, Frank Basile, and Alexis Cole.
1. Enchilada Baby KAHN 4 Excerent Music 4:28
2. Doctor Deep KAHN 3 Excerent Music 3:59
3. Julian KAHN 4 D'Accord Music 4:36
4. Claudette's Way BALES Excerent Music 5:15
5. Binary BASILE Excerent Music 5:21
6. Muezzin’ KAHN 3 Thank Music 4:47
7. In Love with Night COLE Excerent Music 7:49
8 Ephemera KAHN 3 D'Accord Music 6:30
9. Bossallegro BALES Excerent Music 6:30
10. Joy Road BASILE Excerent Music 6:31
British arranger Tony Faulkner is writing four big band charts of Pepper Adams tunes: Enchilada Baby, Mary's Blues, Doctor Deep, and A Winters Tale. Eight other charts (Ephemera, Bossa Nouveau, Reflectory, Rue Serpente, Apothegm, Patrice, Civilization and Its Discontents, and In Love With Night) will be done in advance of my Pepper Adams book tour, starting in August. Vocal arrangements of Ephemera and Civ will also be done. Contact me if you wish to play this music.
The Director of Jazz Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Rich Falco, has approved a symposium examining the life, music, and influence of Pepper Adams on Saturday, September 22. Presenters will be author Gary Carner and saxophonist Gary Smulyan, after which both will be interviewed by WPI professors Falco and Eunmi Shim. This event will be the first half of the day-long Adams festivities. That evening the WPI Big Band will play newly written charts by Frank Griffith, Osian Roberts, and Tony Faulkner of Pepper Adams compositions, including two vocal arrangements that will be given their world premiere.