JOY ROAD: SAMPLER (CD)
Features 11 Highlight Tracks from The Complete Works of Pepper Adams Five Volume Set
I CARRY YOUR HEART: ALEXIS COLE SINGS PEPPER ADAMS (CD)
The World Premiere Recordings of Pepper Adams Music Paired with Lyrics
JOY ROAD: THE COMPLETE WORKS OF PEPPER ADAMS (DIGITAL BOX SET)
Five Volume, 51 Song Set with Detailed Historical Notes
How do you bring attention to the compositional genius of a jazz artist, who, though internationally beloved by colleagues as one of the greatest baritone saxophonists to ever live, has been marginalized by history books and ignored as a composer? That, in sum, presents the quixotic challenge taken on by Gary Carner with his digital box set, JOY ROAD: The Complete Works of Pepper Adams (Volumes 1-5), coming September 11 from Motéma Music, and his exhaustively researched book, Pepper Adams’ Joy Road: An Annotated Discography, out simultaneously from Scarecrow Press.
In connection with these two grand undertakings, Motéma will also release two physical CDs: a stand-alone version of Volume 5, I Carry Your Heart: Alexis Cole Sings Pepper Adams, singled out because it documents the first-ever versions of Adams’ music to be paired with lyrics; and the JOY ROAD SAMPLER, a CD of highlights from the digital box set that shall be made available for sale in stores and online.
With Volumes 1-4, the 43-composition oeuvre was complete, but Carner had one more mission to fulfill. He had heard of Pepper’s unfulfilled wish to have lyrics set to his seven ballads. So, for the vital fifth volume, Carner engaged poet Barry Wallenstein (one of his literary mentors) to pen original lyrics. Award-winning vocalist Alexis Cole (also a Motéma artist), performs on this session, arranged and led by Jeremy Kahn, with both Eric Alexander and Pat LaBarbera featured on tenor saxes.
The fifth volume completes Carner’s massive tribute on a highly original note. Resetting Adams’ seven ballads in different tempos and styles, and pairing them with Wallenstein’s richly literary lyrics, serves as an especially fitting tribute to the creative, witty, well-read jazz legend who had named many of his compositions after famous literary works, such as “Lovers of Their Time”. The songs also add seven luscious new additions to the vocal jazz canon.
ABOUT ALEXIS COLE
Called “one of the great voices of today,” Alexis Cole has been compared to classic jazz singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Anita O’Day. Her luxurious voice and innovative interpretations make her an instant favorite with audiences of all ages. Cole is the recipient of a Swing Journal Gold Disk award, and has won the NY Jazzmobile and Montreux Jazz Festival vocal competitions. She records for Motéma Music, NY. and Venus Records, Japan. Her eight recordings, which feature musical luminaries such as Fred Hersch, Eric Alexander, Matt Wilson, Harry Pickens, Don Braden and Pat LaBarbara, have received high praise in the jazz press and are spun on radio world-wide. In addition to her many performances at top jazz venues like Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Oak Room, Blues Alley, and Billboard Live, she’s also performed at the Kennedy Center and been a featured soloist at Avery Fisher Hall with the NY Philharmonic Brass. Alexis studied voice and piano at the University of Miami and William Paterson University, and holds a Masters of Music from Queens College. She also trained in Indian Classical singing at the Jazz India Vocal Institute in Mumbai.
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