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Live At the Village Vanguard - Vol.2

George Adams & Don Pullen

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Album Review

Born out of Mingus' last band, the Adams/Pullen Quartet took off from its onetime leader's eclectic and fervent musical approach to form its own provocative and fertile take on hard bop and the avant-garde. In addition to Don Pullen on piano and George Adams on tenor saxophone, the band featured bassist Cameron Brown and another Mingus alum in drummer Dannie Richmond. Having already cut a clutch of fine discs since 1979, the quartet showed the power of its live concerts with this second volume of recordings from the Village Vanguard. Taped in August of 1983, the four cuts show off the group's varied repertoire of post-bop material. The mix is mostly up-tempo, with Pullen's gospel and R&B-inspired "Saturday Night in the Cosmos" and "Big Alice" bookending one of his more knotty swingers, "The Great Escape," and Adam's fleet and Latin-tinged bopper, "City Gates." Everyone contributes fine solo work, while also keeping everything nice and in the pocket. A highlight from the Pullen-Adams catalog and one of the most impressive of contemporary live jazz dates.

Biography

Born: 29 April 1940 in Covington, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

A passionate tenor and flute player who was not shy to break up chordal improvising with an unexpected scream or roar, George Adams was an original voice who (like his friend Don Pullen) crossed over several stylistic boundaries. He started on piano, but by the time he was in high school he was playing tenor in funk bands. In 1961, he toured with Sam Cooke, and in 1963 Adams moved to Ohio where he played with organ groups for the next few years. In 1968, he relocated to New York where he played with...
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Live At the Village Vanguard - Vol.2, George Adams
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