Greg Adams – The challenge and accomplishment of going-it-alone – Part 1

Original Tower of Power horns with Bruce Steinberg

Original Tower of Power horn section with Bruce Steinberg – Front Row: Greg Adams, Mic Gillette. Back Row: Doc Kupka, Skip Mesquite, Bruce Steinberg, Emilio Castillo

Greg Adams was a member of Oakland-based soul band, Tower of Power, for 25 years. He stood far left of Tower’s 5-piece horn section, playing trumpet and flügelhorn.

He played, and still plays, beautifully. His rarer skill, is as an arranger. Tower of Power‘s distinct sound is an amalgam of great songwriting (mostly by Emilio Castillo and Doc Kupka), a rhythm section second to none, a horn section percolating with piercing energy, and a string of lead singers, each with a distinct style.

Over the band’s first 25 years, few would argue, as much as any other part, Greg Adams horn arrangements set them apart.

Under Greg’s leadership, as arranger, Tower’s brand-name horn section was hired to augment the studio recordings of countless artists. When you hired the Tower of Power horn section for your project, you specifically hired Greg Adams as the arranger. You did that because of what he could hear (internally), how could project the skills and talent of the horn section, and how the arrangement would blend with the sound of your artist.

Greg Adams (photograph by Bettie Grace Miner - http://www.minerworksofart.com/ )

“Greg’s musical compositions made the TOP horn section a sought out entity all it’s own. Beginning early with his arrangement on Santana’s “ Everything Is Everything”, Elton John’s “The Bitch Is  Back” and Chaka Kahn’s “ Fool’s Paradise”.

Greg has arranged, performed and recorded with countless artists as diverse as his career, including: The Eurythmics, Rod Stewart, Heart, Lyle Lovett, Linda Ronstadt, Luther Vandross, Aaron Neville, Quincy Jones, Little Feat, Wilson Pickett, Huey Lewis and the News, Raphael Saadiq, The Brothers Johnson, Phish, 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.”

“Greg has earned both GRAMMY® and Emmy nominations and an International Broadcasting Award from The Hollywood Radio and Television Society. In sync with an ever evolving musical landscape and a life’s work that has included success as an arranger, composer, producer and performer, taking him on worldwide tours and contributing to some of the most important recordings in pop culture.”

Source: GregAdamsMusic.com

Sometime after Tower of Power‘s 1993 album T.O.P., Greg Adams decided he was ready for the next phase of his music career,  after a quarter-of-a-century as a key contributor to the band. Just-like-that, he moved forward to pursue a solo career.

Andy Ebon
First-Generation New Yorker

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