When WordPress 4.6 was released yesterday and I read who it was named for, I had to ask my musicological husband, “Who is Pepper Adams?”
He knew Adams was a baritone saxophonist but when I asked if Adams was considered “legendary,” as WordPress says, he thought not so much. “More like obscure.”
As they say, you learn something new every day.
Allmusic.com described Adams as:
“One of the most pre-eminent journeyman of ’50s jazz and beyond. Pepper Adams handled the baritone saxophone with the driven facility of hard bop and fueled the big horn with a propulsive intensity that caused him to be nicknamed “the Knife” for his “slashing and chopping technique.”
The thing is there are far fewer baritone sax players than other saxophonists. There are gazillions of players of the tenor sax, the next size up, but only a couple dozen baritone players of note. When thinking about the instrument, Jerry Mulligan is the giant who comes to mind.
But according to music writer, Marc Myers,
“If Gerry Mulligan’s mannered, contrapuntal baritone saxophone style can be likened to a badminton player, then Pepper Adams’ approach can be compared to a street brawler.”
Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III was born in Highland Park, Michigan (the state from which I write this post) in 1930, but moved to Rochester, New York at the age of five. At age 12, Adams began playing in local bands on clarinet and tenor sax, but inspired by Coleman Hawkins and Harry Carney, he soon took up the baritone sax.
Back in Detroit, he played with Barry Harris, Billy Mitchell, and Thad and Elvin Jones (v 3.5) while working in an auto factory. After serving in the Army during the Korean War he played with Miles Davis (v 1.0), Sonny Stitt (v 3.3), and Wardell Gray,
Naturally, he moved to New York where he worked with Kenny Clarke, Curtis Fuller, Quincy Jones, Benny Goodman (v 4.0), Johnny Griffin, and Chet Baker (v 2.8). But it was his collaboration with guitarist Donald Byrd that led to his co-leading a band. In 1959 Pepper put out an LP with trombonist Jimmy Knepper and led a group that was recorded live at the Five Spot.
In the 1960s, Adams worked with Charles Mingus (v 1.2) Ben Webster, Joe Zawinul, Stanley Turrentine, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Smith (v 3.9 ), Zoot Sims, and Roland Kirk. In the 70s he played on several albums with Elvin Jones, one with the rock group The Rascals, and even a record with comedian Martin Mull.
By the 1980s, Adam’s tobacco smoking started to catch up with him, but not before he released two of his own recordings, Urban Dreams and The Adams Effect. Pepper Adams died of lung cancer in 1986.
In all, Pepper Adams released 27 self-credited records and performed on over 450 recordings. That’s what a valuable sideman he was.
Just because I was not so familiar with his work doesn’t mean he wasn’t prolific.
WordPress 4.6 “Pepper”
Pepper Adams was the kind of musician who excelled at playing a lesser-played instrument, which makes naming WordPress 4.6 for him so perfect. This version has features you might never notice until someone says, “Hey, that’s awesome!”
One change you’ll notice is the Dashboard fonts. They’ve been changed to reflect the fonts that are native to your operating system.
Nothing to get excited about really, except that the point is to speed up the overall performance of your site, something we can all get into.
Ever notice how WordPress changes pages every time you update a plugin or change themes? If that annoyed you then you’ll be happy to know that version 4.6 won’t jump pages when you make these changes.
Broken Link Checker
WordPress 4.6 will tell you when a link you’re placing is broken. When you place a malformed link, the anchor text will be underlined in red to alert you.
However, this feature doesn’t work after publication. You’ll still need a plugin like Broken Link Checker to tell you when a good link goes bad.
Locally Saved Drafts
Not sure how this is different from how WordPress saved unsaved drafts before, but version 4.6 will save your works in the browser.
Yes, there’s more
What’s important is that you update WordPress now to keep your site secure, because an outdated WordPress site is a vulnerable site.