George Adams Day

April 29, 1940 – November 14, 1992

Blues For Monet

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Tenor saxophonist, reedman, composer and bandleader George Rufus Adams was born on April 29, 1940 in Covington, Georgia.

Wayman Carver, an early jazz flautist and veteran of the Chick Webb band, was his tutor at Clark College in Atlanta.

After Adams moved to New York he played with Roy Haynes and Art Blakey and then became an integral part of the musical work of both Charles Mingus and Gil Evans.

After Mingus’ passing, he began a ten year collaboration with fellow Mingus members in the Adams-Pullen Quartet. Here Adams leads his quartet in a 1991 club performance in Tokyo. If you’re a Mingus fan you’ll recognize his peerless tenor right away.

He went on to co-lead a quartet with Don Pullen covering a diverse range of music consisting of everything from avant-garde to R&B.

An expressive player George Adams was renowned for the practice of arching his back and tilting his sax upward during his performances.

One of his final albums “America” released on the Blue Note label is a patriotic tribute to his country featuring selections including “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “America the Beautiful”, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, and “Tennessee Waltz.”

The “George Adams Quartet” perform in Tokyo in 1991.


George Adams, tenor sax
Ray Gallon, piano
Santi DeBriano, bass
Lewis Nash, drums


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