Pepper Adams was not only one of the most consistently imaginative musicians in jazz, he also had a rare capacity to write, arrange and execute. A musician with a background of years of studying and writing, he played with such outstanding orchestras as Stan Kenton’s and Benny Goodman’s.
Adams won the New Star Award in the 1957 Down Beat Critics Poll; this brought him the leadership that he shared with trumpeter and featured member Donald Byrd. The baritone horn gained prestige and respect as a solo horn not only from musicians Pepper Adams, Harry Carney, Serge Chaloff, and Gerry Mulligan, but also from the non-professional listener.
Motor City Scene consists of five compositions. The first side opens with a standard written by Hoagy Carmichael that brings to front trumpeter Donald Byrd, followed by “Philson”, one of two tracks here in which Pepper Adams spotlights his ability as a writer. (The second is “Libeccio”.) This gathering of top notch soloists makes for an assortment of highly listenable jazz. It is truly Pepper Adams & Donald Byrd at their best!