Wednesday, 1 April 2015
A is for Adams
Today's letter is A.
Park "Pepper" Adams was a baritone saxophone player from the Detroit area whose career spanned the 1940s to the 1980s. He took up saxophone while in high school, and after studying with saxophonist Skippy Williams he frequented the famous Blue Bird Inn to gain stage experience.
Following several tours of duty in Korean War as a musician, he participated in many recording sessions with other rising musicians of the time, including John Coltrane, Stan Kenton, and Thelonious Monk. He then stepped up to become a bandleader, recording a number of albums between 1957-1978.
In 1977 he went solo, recording with the likes of Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, and Chet Baker. He continued to tour across the United States, Europe, and Asia before a severe leg injury in late 1983 sidelined him for almost a year. His final performance before his death from lung cancer was at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1986.
Here is an example of his versatile playing. The baritone sax is not an easy instrument to master.
Pepper Adams, Barcelona Jazz Festival, 1983