Hang with… Bruce Adams


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Bruce Adams trumpet

By Michael Barkley

Bruce is a really special player and person – a gentle giant. I was lucky enough to hang with him at his house, and get the recording that I am going to link.

Bruce Adams: http://www.bruce-adams.co.uk

We chatted about music, played, had chilli and had a great hang. Bruce is so generous with his time and help, and I think you will really enjoy the playing in the video.

Firstly a little information from his website:

Bruce’s interest in jazz started as a seven year old in Glasgow when he heard a record of Django Reindhart. So impressed was Bruce, that he wanted to be able to play like Django. Fortunately his father Bob (himself a professional guitarist) spotted the obvious flaw in this plan. Bruce was a terrible guitarist, so he bought him a trumpet instead. So the world was saved from yet another guy who thought he could play guitar but couldn’t. It’s a pity his father hadn’t been more ambitious. He should have been the Charles Bronson to bad Guitarists and wiped them all out.

Bruce was eleven when he started on trumpet, and did his first gig after five months. Within another few months, he was gigging regularly around Glasgow. When he was fourteen, as a prodigy of Nat Gonella’s, he won on Hughie Green’s Opportunity Knocks. The following year he went on the road doing a double act with his father Bob – Expo ’67 in Montreal was followed by a C.S.E. tour for the troops in Aden with Tony Hancock. Over the next few years further C.S.E. shows were followed by trips to New York on the QE2 and cruising with P&O. Sadly the Act finished in 1973 with Bob’s premature death.

Bruce settled back in Glasgow and got involved in the local jazz scene, forming a quintet with Scottish alto saxophonist Bill Fanning, and going on to form an eighteen piece big band with Bill. Bruce eventually started playing with the George McGowan Big Band with whom he won Best Trumpet and Outstanding Musician in the 1982 Holsten Jazz Journal Big Band Competition. Followed two years later by the best soloist prize in the BBC Big Band Competition.

Bruce’s regular appearances at the Edinburgh and Glasgow jazz festivals enabled him to share the stage with people like Dick Hyman, Bob Wilbur, Benny Carter, Buddy Tate, Al Cohn, Al Grey, Ray Bryant, Milt Hinton, Gus Johnson, Danny Moss, Jack Parnell, Roy Williams, Bill Allred, George Chisholm, Dave McKenna and Jake Hanna. Other festivals include Sacramento, Cork, Breda, Eindhoven, Brecon, Swanage, Decatur, Berne, Licata, Silda, British Columbia, Birmingham, Olymp Jazz Festival Stuttgart, Chateauneuf de Faou and Hanover.

Bruce also works as a clinician and educator, and is an endorsee of Vincent Bach Trumpets and Flugelhorns.

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