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The Pepper - Knepper Quintet

Pepper Adams & Jimmy Knepper

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Album Review

Although Leonard Feather, in the original liner notes that are reproduced for this reissue, says that it is an oversimplification to call the music on this 1958 session "hard bop," the performances are actually pretty definitive of the idiom. Baritonist Pepper Adams, freshly arrived in New York from Detroit, co-leads a quintet with the up-and-coming trombonist Jimmy Knepper that also includes such young notables as pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Elvin Jones. They perform an obscure Jon Hendricks song, a lyrical version of "All Too Soon," the straight-ahead bebop blues "Beaubien," a couple obscure originals, Duke Ellington's "I Didn't Know About You" (which has Kelly switching to a spooky-sounding organ) and Knepper's "Primrose Path." The blend between baritone and trombone is quite effective, the musicians all take consistently excellent solos and the music is state-of-the-art 1958 modern mainstream jazz; in other words, hard bop.

Biography

Born: October 8, 1930 in Highland Park, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Pepper Adams handled the baritone saxophone with the driven facility of hard bop and fueled the big horn with a propulsive intensity that caused him to be nicknamed "the Knife" for his "slashing and chopping technique," which had a humbling effect upon musicians fortunate enough to gig with him. From 1954 until shortly before his passing in 1986, Pepper Adams existed as an indispensable ingredient in the North American jazz ensemble, releasing more than 20 albums as a leader, emanating a special...
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The Pepper - Knepper Quintet, Pepper Adams
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