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The Music Of Pepper Adams by Dale Fielder Quartet

In this, Dale Fielder pays tribute to Pepper Adams, the man who inspired him to play the baritone sax. Fielder, who plays all four saxes with equal authority, has released 12 recordings, including a 1996 Dear Sir: Tribute to Wayne Shorter.

This new live recording brings to new life seven Adams’ compositions. As well, Fielder includes two praiseworthy originals of his own, along with the standard show tune, "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," long associated with Adams.

Adams, only 55 at his untimely death in 1986, was known for his gutsy, hard-edged sound. Here, Fielder burnishes the tone but maintains appropriate roughness in his many tasty solos.

On piano, Jane Getz, late of the Mingus Workshop band, almost steals the show with her own creative, always swinging solos. Thomas White, drums, and Edwin Livingston, bass, contribute mightily. Adams’ legacy is in good hands with this group.

First track, "Rue Serpente," establishes a laid back groove, with Fielder showing his mastery as he moves up and down the keys of the big horn. Meantime, Getz adds to the relaxed atmosphere with her lilting solo.

Next, "Enchilada Baby," has Fielder shifting gears for a bouncy, bucking beginning. Then Lvingston on bass maintains the pace before Fielder comes back, this time displaying his solid technique in an impressive bit. Finally, the piece transforms with Getz rocking along with the rhythm section-a definite highlight.

Fielder brings out his alto sax for "Boss Allegro," blazing forward in a Parker-McLean mode. In this, Livingston’s bowed bass and White’s bossa beat spark the flames, as well. On "I Carry Your Heart," Fielder switches over to tenor, releasing a torrent of sound, bringing to mind the complexity of a run by Shorter, another Fielder hero.

The group has fun with "Baubles," an Adams favorite. Getz’ intense comping frames another tour de force bari solo.

Closing the session are Fielder’s two works, "Frugal Apathy," showcasing the sublime interplay of Getz and Fielder, and the hard-swinging "Dimensions," Fielder reveling in his improv chops and Getz contributing another powerhouse turn.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dale Fielder Quartet
  • CD Title: The Music Of Pepper Adams
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Clarion Jazz
  • Tracks: Rue Serpente, Enchilada Baby, Boss Allegro, Lovers of Their Time, I Carry your Heart, Bossa Nouveau, Baubles, Bangles and Beads, Now In Our Lives, Frugal Apathy, Dimensions
  • Musicians: Dale Fielder (alto, tenor, baritone sax), Jane Getz (piano), Edwin Livingston (bass). Thomas White (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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