Now available from Craig Milverton at £10 each inc p&p via Craig’s PayPal channel.
Featuring Bruce Adams, Trumpet and Craig Milverton, Piano.
Digby Fairweather writes:
Many years ago now, Norman Granz’s legendary ‘Pablo’ label produced a series of classic duo-only albums featuring the mighty Oscar Peterson and a succession of trumpeters including (if I remember right) Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, and most of the elder brass giants who still walked the earth. Well if by some auditory miracle you could select the best of those collections and meld them into one definitive CD sound-product you might, in my view, have an album something like this one!
For this hapless liner-note writer of course, there’s very little room to explain or justify such an extravagant claim. But let me try anyhow – and let’s begin with Bruce Adams. I’ve loved his work for many years because for me it powerfully embodies the finest classic qualities of jazz trumpet-playing; qualities which have sometimes been overlooked by newer players who have yet to explore all the cornucopian glories of the instrument’s jazz traditions.
In a chorus or two my good friend Bruce can present all the things other trumpeters (always the most severe critics!) admire the most, and which other discerning listeners will delight in, without necessarily appreciating all the hard-won skills it takes to produce them. In his work – for just a handful of examples – you hear the soul-deep honest lyricism of a Louis Armstrong, the fulsome flash fantasies of a Harry James, the multi-note bop-based explorations of a Dizzy Gillespie and the plunger-muted luxuries of a Clark Terry (try the album’s title track for a sample).
Assemble all these qualities – along with Bruce’s regular fearless flights into his horn’s super-register and athletic sprints into double and triple time solo lines – and you have that most glorious of auditory pleasures; a true jazz trumpet-master of his craft spreading joy.
I mentioned Oscar Peterson earlier and that, quite naturally, leads me on to Bruce’s piano-partner (and my great friend of twenty-five years), the incomparable Craig Milverton. Like Bruce – or his own late British piano counterpart, Brian Lemon – Craig has studied and absorbed all the most royal legacies of his instrument over its golden years in jazz and brings them with authority, love and unfailing creativity into the world of today. Like Bruce again he possesses an encyclopaedic knowledge and appreciation of repertoire (it’s doubtful whether any other two British duettists would have spotted the jazz possibilities of Bricusse and Newley’s exquisite ‘Pure Imagination’ (t1).
And throughout this collection he matches his trumpet-partner in the ability to move from the most down-home blues (‘Just a snifter’ t/2) to the airy carefree stride of ‘I’ve never been in love before (t4) and then on to the Bill Evans-inspired reflection of Johnny Mandel’s ‘A time for love’ (t/6),where Bruce’s muted horn in turn has just a touch of Miles to it. Beautiful music, and rich in those golden moments.