Thursday, April 17, 1997
The Chronicle Herald  The Mail Star 


Stephen Cooke

Adams's latest CDs pure music enjoyment

Bucky Adams, In A Lovin' Way (Independent)

   Bucky Adams's tenor sax playing is one of the smoothest, mellowest sounds around.  A master of the old school, Adams sings, swings and soothes on what amounts to a musical autobiography, full of pictures from his childhood to the present.

   The simple framework of sax, bass, piano and drums keeps the sound intimate and tight while Adams blows with authority and passion.  It's hard to imagine him getting better back-up than drummer David James, bassist Skip Beckwith and, on piano, Woody Woods, who also co-wrote four tracks, including the nostalgic Maynard Street and Africville Shuffle, whose ironic title refers as much to the way residents of that once-thriving community were swept from their homes as it does to the song's bluesy beat.

    Adams is also joined on two tracks by local rhythm pirates Hu Noo, whose backing isn't as assured as seasoned pros like Beckwith and Woods, but they do give him a chance to stretch out his chops in the realm of funk (Bucky's Back) and even honky tonk (Remember The Good Days), in a nod to the days when Adams played all manner of gigs.

   There's even a rare vocal from Adams on the title track, a sweet performance dedicated to his wife of 40 years.  There's a playful tone in his voice, a bit reminiscent of Brook Benton, that's a good sign that thinking young may not be such a bad way to approach your craft