Saxophonist Dale Fielder's album is a long overdue tribute to the music of Pepper Adams. Fielder graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and moved to New York in 1980, gaining valuable exposure, recording and forming his own label. Returning to his hometown of Los Angeles in 1988, Fielder continued to gather experience and record.
In paying homage to the late baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams on DFQ Plays The Music of Pepper Adams, Fielder chose material from Adams' albums Reflectory (Muse, 1978), The Master (Muse, 1980) and Adams' Effect (Uptown, 1985). In addition, Fielder adds the Robert Wright/George Forrest show tune "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," from Adams' debut, Pepper Adams Quintet (VSOP, 1957).
What is probably best remembered of Adams is his take no mercy approach and powerful style. Fielder does not try to impersonate him, but rather offers a more soulful approach to the instrument, which takes the rough edges off the original versions. He plays baritone on seven of the ten selections, showing his agility on alto on "Boss Allegro" and "Bossa Nouveau" (both reflecting Adams' interest in Brazilian music) and tenor on "I Carry Your Heart." The album ends with two Fielder compositions, "Frugal Apathy" and "Dimensions."
Adding to the presentation is pianist Jane Getz, who turns in some sparkling solos and comping, much in the style of Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan. The timekeeping of bassist Edwin Livingston and drummer Thomas White is right on target.
This album was recorded live in front of an appreciative audience. To show his versatility, Fielder returned for a second set, which was also recorded live, featuring all different material and played only on tenor saxophone.
Personnel: Dale Fielder: baritone, alto and tenor sax; Jane Getz: piano; Edwin Livingston: bass; Thomas White: drums.