Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2013 Pepper Adams Tour

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

This Fall's four-week Pepper Adams tour is shaping up beautifully.  The esteemed arranger Tony Faulkner arrives in Atlanta from the UK on October 25, and, after a few days of fun, we hit the road for gigs, clinics, lectures, and recordings in Cincinnati, Champaign IL, Macomb IL, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Willamsburg VA.  Other locations are still pending.  The world premiere of Tony's dedication to Pepper Adams, "Park Frederick III," will be performed at Cincinnati's Blue Wisp Jazz Club by the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, led by Scott Belck.  Both Tony and I have lectures and clinics at the University of Illinois and Western Illinois University, then we hope to travel directly to Detroit and Toldeo for tentet and big band gigs before returning to Chicago to hear the U. of Illinois Concert Jazz Band play Tony's Pepper charts that they recently recorded for Motema. In Teaneck NJ on Sunday, Nov. 10, the Tim Horner-Ron Horton Tentet will be playing at the Puffin Foundation new charts of Pepper tunes, written by Faulkner for the band.  We hope to record the band in New York sometime that week.  In Montclair NJ the Diane Moser Big Band is performing Tony's suite and several of his Pepper charts at Trumpet's on Nov. 13.  Our last clinic is at William and Mary.  Once the entire tour falls into place, I'll post it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Complete Pepper Adams, Vol. 6

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

The first track, Bossallegro, has been mixed, for the upcoming Motema CD of Tony Faulkner arrangements.  The performance is by the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band, with faculty as soloists and the rhythm section.  Solos on this track are by Jim Pugh and Glenn Wilson.  The superb rhythm section is Chip Stephens p; Larry Gray b; Joel Spencer dm.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Update on Pepper Adams Tour

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

It's been several months since I updated you on my Pepper Adams work. First, the great news is my Pepper Adams book is being reissued in paperback. That's very gratifying because it will be affordable and more people can learn about Pepper and his great music. Also, the book was just nominated by the ASRC for Best Historical Research in a Discography in 2013. It's wonderful to know that Adams is appreciated.

Hardcover owners please note that the paperback edition has an updated index. There were some issues with the original version, because my printer died when printing out the camera-ready copy, thereby changing pagination.

The 2012 book and CD tour was extraordinary! I visited and lectured in 40 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Notable concerts were Kevin Bales and Barry Greene in Atlanta, Pat LaBarbara in Toronto, Jill Townsend's Big Band in Vancouver, Jeremy Kahn in Chicago, Hod O'Brien in Charlottesville, and the entire week in New York. 

We had six nights of concerts in NYC celebrating Pepper Adams. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Alexis Cole, Lew Tabackin, and Bevan Manson's Octet with Gary Smulyan were the highlights. Having George Mraz on several of the shows was beyond belief! Many thanks to Don Friedman, David Amram, Jerry Dodgion, and Kenny Washington for participating.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Complete Works of Pepper Adams Sampler

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

The first review of the Joy Road Sampler is in from Critical Jazz:

"A typical review doesn't work here. This is a release of historical significance as much as it is an artistic triumph. Joy Road Sampler is not a melancholy look back but a celebration of what lies ahead in jazz today. From Gary Carner to the musicians to the incredible people at Motema Records, not a conventional release but a sublime experience. An epic work."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Very Rare Tommy Flanagan, Korea 1953

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

In Pepper Adams' archives is a very rare tape, just transferred to CD. On Easter Sunday (5 April) 1953, presumably at Base K-8 near Kunsan, Korea, Tommy Flangan's trio with altoist Jerry Lehmeier, recorded five tracks, all with piano solos, including Get Happy, I Love You, and Dancing in the Dark.  The bassist and drummer are unknown.

The following Sunday, 12 April 1953, at Base K-8 near Kunsan, Korea, the same group performed eight tracks, including 's Wonderful, Body and Soul, and Out of Nowhere.  There are no piano solos and the rhythm section supported Lehmeier as featured soloist.

Pepper Adams can be heard in the audience, so it's possible he produced the recording.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gary Smulyan with the Yorkshire Jazz Orchestra

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

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.
See details:


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lyrics to Pepper Adams Ballads

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

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.

Urban Dreams

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,
drops from memory and all else.

The world is old, the condition too new
to dream away from the weathering kiss
which comes close, showing us what is,
what fell away, and what will stay.