Pepper Adams: Reflectory
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Reflectory (out-of-print vinyl LP only) (Muse 5182)
Composed by Pepper Adams.
Recorded: New York, June 14, 1978
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Recorded shortly after Pepper Adams left the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis band to set out on his own as a soloist, "Reflectory" – both the single track and the entire album – includes some of Pepper's finest work. Being frequently teamed with the great George Mraz inspired Adams to write several intriguing originals pairing Mraz's bass in harmony or unison with the baritone sax.
"Reflectory," however, is a well-constructed 2-part invention in which the baritone and bass engage in an interesting call-and-response that, while cleverly conceived, is totally devoid of the cloying cuteness that afflicts most contrapuntal jazz tunes. As is the case with all Adams originals, it contains a great set of blowing changes that he devours like a hungry pit bull.
Like all of Pepper's best solos, this one has a beginning, a middle and an end (what a concept!), building motivically off a quote from the old Billy Eckstine hit "Everything I Have is Yours" and accumulating a stunning amount of momentum. The way Pepper employs the horn's low register at the climax of his final chorus marks this solo as one that could have been played only on the baritone saxophone and only by the inimitable Pepper Adams.
Reviewer: Kenny Berger