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Cannonball in Europe by Cannonball Adderley Sextet

For the uninitiated, the late Julian "Cannonball" Adderley was/is one of the most popular saxophonists in jazz history. He was one of the "offspring" of Charlie Parker who found his own path, one infusing the white-hot bebop of Bird with even more blues/R&B/gospel-derived juices, the 1950s modal developments of Miles Davis and George Russell, and later on, some aspects of free and fusion. While in the 50s and 60s, when jazz was becoming more cerebral and ponderous (in many cases, too darn cerebral/ponderous), Cannonball - while unquestionably imaginative - made jazz that came from and went to the heart & gut. He was jazz you could feel, and could hum/sing the affable, accessible tunes he played all the way home.

IF you need "proof," listen to tracks one & two of Cannonball in Europe, recorded live at a Belgium jazz festival in 1962 and available in the US of A for the first time. Adderley sears on these, with a tone mercurial, bright, jagged, shiny, and occasionally vocal - one can hear Adderley in many altoists these days, including Vincent Herring, Jesse Davis, and even the mucho avant-gardist John Zorn. Brother Nat’s cornet seems to be there to cool you down some, then he too turns up the heat - he has a "cry" in his sound, a tone rich with joy despite the sorrows and frustrations of Life. Though he’s known as one of the innovators/originators of "world jazz," Yusef Lateef was a member of CA’s group, and he blows up a storm as well, his occasional forays into dynamic, cathartic skronk reflecting the nascent avant-garde wing of jazz. (Plus, he plays a mean oboe.) Also present is one of the main men of fusion, Joe Zawinul (later of Weather Report, natch), who excels here with meat-and-potatoes hard bop piano, with (of course) subtly singing lyricism. Not to slight the rhythm team of Sam Jones (bro of Hank) and Louis Hayes - they got the beat: unfaltering, simmering, cooking, thumping, the bop that will not stop. If you feel like hearing - or need to hear - jazz played for listeners rather than at or around listeners, get hit by this Cannonball.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Cannonball Adderley Sextet
  • CD Title: Cannonball in Europe
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Blue Note
  • Tracks: P. Bouk; Gemini; Work Song; Trouble In Mind; Dizzys Business'
  • Musicians: C.A.: alto sax; Nat Adderley: cornet; Yusef Lateef: tenor sax, oboe, flute; Joe Zawinul: piano; Sam Jones: bass; Louis Hayes: drums Recorded live August 1962, Belgium
  • Rating: Five Stars
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