The sound of Greg Adams is one of the world’s best-known musical signatures. Adams has recorded six solo albums, three releases with East Bay Soul and fourteen recordings as a founding member of Tower of Power, legendary for his arrangements that made the TOP horn section a sought out entity all its own. His 1995 debut Hidden Agenda went all the way to #1 on Billboard and stayed there for five weeks… He hasn’t looked back since. With countless collaborations in the studio and live on stage, Adams has made his mark on a broad stretch of today’s music landscape that includes jazz, pop, rock, R&B, soul, and funk.
In his new musical pursuit Grammy and Emmy nominated trumpeter Adams continues his artistic evolution alongside East Bay Soul with the dynamic THAT’S LIFE – A collection of eleven songs that fuses his love for vintage soul music, pop, with powerful horns and gorgeous orchestration.
The spark that struck the chord for the creative process” say’s Adams ”hit me when I heard in my head a bombastic themed song with an orchestra and a big horn section that reminded me of the iconic “That’s Life” recorded by Frank Sinatra. I wrote the song with Nick Milo and sent it to lyricist Rocky Maffit. Rocky had it for a while and nothing was coming to him, until one day he said “Damned If I Do” out loud. Now we had the title and lyric for the song. The recording was almost done and I thought to myself what do I call the album and there it is was staring at me “That’s’ Life”…
East Bay Soul is the next creative step in a career filled with magic moments spanning over four decades; an enduring recording artist and performer, the charismatic trumpeter has earned the respect of his peers and fans alike worldwide.
Setting no boundaries and seeking no labels Greg has arranged, performed and recorded with countless artists as diverse as his career, including The Eurythmics, Rod Stewart, Lyle Lovett, Heart, Linda Ronstadt, Luther Vandross, Aaron Neville, The Brothers Johnson, Phish, Little Feat, Wilson Pickett, Huey Lewis and the News, Raphael Saadiq, Al Green, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Everclear, Chicago, Bonnie Raitt, Dionne Warwick, Ray Charles, Peter Frampton, Billy Preston, Terrence Trent Darby, Josh Groban Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Celine Dion to name a very few.
Greg has played on over six hundred recordings. Beginning early with his arrangements on Santana’s “Everything Is Everything”, Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back” Chaka Kahn’s “Fool’s Paradise” Little Feat’s “High Roller” and Heart’s “Tell It like It Is”. You’ve heard Greg’s collaboration with Paul Shaffer on the opening theme of Late Show With David Letterman and on score arrangements in such films as, Duets, Mask, Top Gun, Saving Silverman, Austin Powers In Goldmember with Smashmouth. Teaming up with Stanley Clarke on Little Big League and on Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band with the illustrious George Martin
As the album unfolds with the sexy “Little Black Dress”, Adams realizes he’s writing the music first and the lyrics will come next, an interesting process that lyricist Maffit says was so much fun, because it usually is the other way around. The mysterious ”Hush Hush” is co-written with Dwayne “Smitty” Smith. “Is just so “Dope” as Adams calls it. The groove and trumpet melody are so minimal we just let the song end itself… “
Notably “ Come Together” by The Beatles pays deference to the original fueled by Greg’s muted trumpet.
Adams artfully produced the sonic funk driven “Earth To Mars” with a magnetic performance that is both retro and modern.
The album boasts four songs with a full orchestra, lush arrangements masterfully orchestrated by Greg. “ Grow Old With Me” tells a story of love at first sight. “Without You” is a story without lyrics that conveys the story of love lost… Greg’s soulful trumpet is infused here. Darryl Walker’s stirring vocal performances on “ Going In Circles” and “ Let’s Stay Together” are delivered with soul and passion that embodies the timelessness of these two classic R&B songs.
Setting the bedrock for THAT’S’ LIFE is Kay-Ta Matsuno, guitar, Joey Navarro, keys, Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, bass, Herman Matthews, drums and. Johnny Sandoval adds the essential addition of Latin percussion. Their collaboration in the studio and commanding performance is brilliant.
Fueling the funk… is a dream horn section headed by Adams known for his percussive and on top of the beat style, endures throughout the album and is a tight a horn section as they come. Lee Thornburg, trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn and trombone, Johnnie Bamont, alto, tenor and bari sax. Greg Vail, alto and tenor sax.
With a most soulful ensemble creates a union that has been nothing short of musical wizardry. Their extraordinary combined talents all bring incredible energy to the music with heart and soul. East Bay Soul is dedicated to a singular vision of bringing their brand of funk and the magic of their live performance into every note they play. Creating a perfect blend of talent and camaraderie that tells this ten-piece ensemble we know we have something special
Six years in the making and now with three studio albums to East Bay Soul’s credit all while touring…. headlining music festivals and performing in premiere jazz clubs nationwide, East Bay Soul continues to build a strong following that embodies the passion they generate with their audiences that have become to be known as True Funk Soldiers!
With East Bay Soul Greg say’s “ It’s like looking bliss in the eye. Before you know it we’ve made a record. It is amazing how it happens.”