(b. 1930, d. 1986) was one of the
best baritone saxophone
players ever to live. His most
famous work is with fellow Michigander
. The two collaborated on quite a few
albums between 1958-1962. Unfortunately, Adams' brilliance
was often overshadowed by the fame of another baritone
player, Gerry Mulligan
. While they played the
same instrument, they were otherwise worlds apart.
Mulligan was part of the West Coast Cool
in a soft melodic and, well, cool style. In contrast, Adams' was hard bop
all the way.
We called him 'The Knife' because when he'd get up to blow, his playing had almost a slashing effect on the rest of
us. He'd slash, chop, and before he was through, cut everybody down to size.
Adams was a member of the famous Thad Jones/Mel Lewis
Orchestra from 1965-1978.