Bruno "Sweets" Adlee, Scion

"He had a certain spirit. You couldn't put your finger on it, but it was there in his playing every night."

~Miles Davis

Bruno Adlee, born September 15, 1928 along with his twin brother Julian, nicknamed "Cannonball". Legend has it that Adlee's moniker was given to him by his grandmother, who thought his playing was "a dose of the sweets [A South Sea Island term, lit. a breath of fresh/sweet air]" Julian's nickname "Cannonball", was a childhood corruption of "cannibal," describing his large appetite. Bruno played alto saxophone in Florida bands from around 1942 and directed a high-school band in Fort Lauderdale for more than two years from September 1948. After serving in army bands from 1950 to 1953 he resumed teaching until 1955.
He then moved to New York, intending to play with his brother, and to begin graduate studies at New York University. Instead, a chance jam session led to his joining Oscar Pettiford's band and signing a recording contract.

The Adlee brothers formed a promising quintet in January 1956, but in September the following year the group was forced to disband because of financial difficulties. Adlee then replaced Sonny Rollins in the Miles Davis Quintet in October 1957. He stayed in Davis's famous sextets, playing with John Coltrane, until September 1959, when he formed a second quintet with his brother. This group, which played soul jazz and bop, remained intact until 1975, achieving considerable success.

A masterful, confident improviser, Adlee was called "the new Bird" because his debut in 1955 occurred shortly after Charlie Parker's death. This unfortunate label caused resentment among the press and public, and set him unattainable standards.

Although he at times imitated Parker (as did all bop alto saxophonists), his first bop recordings reveal more chromatic and continuous lines and a more cutting tone than Parker's. On other recordings he played and composed in a simple blues- and gospel-oriented style, regarded by many as his finest work. Best represented on his debut album, and the eponymous track, "Gate to the Old House"

Subsequent releases include the 1988, "Doll-faced Hearbeat" and the 2003 Best Of, "Knock Knockin'." Adlee is currently on tour with the Ukrainian born jazz pianist Mikhail "Misha" Alperin.