Take some well-rounded-body and soul-jazz personalities like Fats
Wailer, Jimmy Rushing, Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson.
Extremely well-rounded too, when it comes to generating full-bodied excitement with very demanding and exacting musical
means. Would you include Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley in that
particular jazz category? I, of course, would. Come to think of
it, it should be a category included in all jazz polls.
Looking for hidden treasures? The Swiss banks vaults conceal some
mighty ones, but, alas, they are unavailable for most of us.
Whereas hidden treasures in Swiss radio vaults are becoming
available. Like this groovy tape found at the Italian speaking
Swiss radio in Lugano: Cannonball's sextet from the early sixties
(1963). A funky and churchy and soulful tape, too. Dig six very
swinging cats cookin' it up and around and about. Let's forget
all the jazz jive from way back and concentrate on the music.
Live jazz on record is the best substitute for live music.
The tunes: "Trouble In Mind" is a classic from the
20's, the others have become classics by 1995. Three very classy
bop themes, like Oscar Pettiford's "Bohemia After
Dark", Quincy Jones' "Jessica's Day" or Ernie
Wilkins' "Dizzy's Business" (remember Dizzy Gillespie's
big band versions of these two from the middle fifties?
"Jessica" is taken here at a much faster tempo), all up
tempo numbers meant to enliven any proceedings. Two compositions
taken at less crazy tempos: a hard bop one, Sam Jones' "Unit
7" and Richard M. Jones' poignant old blues theme
"Trouble In Mind" a show case for Yusef Lateef's oboe
and the rhythm section. Oboes, by the way, are still (1995) not
much heard in jazz circles, yet Lateef demonstrates here beyond
doubt (1963) not only they should be warmly welcomed, but that
they wail I Rhythm sections like Joe Zawinul on piano (plain old
piano, no electronics), Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on
drums, are also hard to find, anytime. But there's still more
pleasure to be had from this concert: two Nat Adderley down-home
tunes, "Work Song" and "Jive Samba" (the bass
line in this one shows a trait common to Brazilian and
Afro-North-American music - the basic baijo figure which sounds
almost exactly like a widely used rhythmic figure in blues and
rhythm & blues). Both compositions have become classics too:
Nat Adderley is may be not as consistent a composer as Horace
Silver but you can bet Mr. Silver would willingly sign those two.
Funky, bluesy, churchy, swinging, wailing, driving music...
Julian Adderley and the music in this record somehow embody all
those virtues - and a lot more. From today's point of view, you
feel like comparing Cannonball to Wynton Marsalis. No, no
polemics. You can instantly tell what separates them: as far as I
know, Cannonball only preached through his horn. But there are
several common features. Cannonball carries in his approach the
entire jazz tradition as much as Marsalis does-or pretends to, if
you don't 'believe' in Marsalis. It has been said that
Cannonball, his great originality notwithstanding, could at times
sound like any number of saxophone players from every jazz era.
At the same time, he proved he could play any kind of music:
advanced music with Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bill Evans,
Latin jazz with the best Latin musicians, bossa nova with the
cream of the Brazilians; and Third Stream Music, too. Besides, he
came into prominence during the hard bop days from the late 50's
and 60's, when jazz was going through yet another revival period,
one that is not regarded as such because it generated a lot of
Much of it sounded newer than it actually was: marrying
simplified bebop and folk and pop black tradition was a strong
mixture, almost as strong as the one that, in its day, resulted
in what we call jazz. But not quite; it did not turn out able to
do what it was aiming for: reconcile the masses - and
particularly the black public - with jazz. To this day, jazz is
still trying to recover from the loss of its mass audience back
in the late forties. The Adderley brothers' success during the
sixties is in itself a remarkable achievement and a reminder that
you can attain popularity within the jazz ambit (whatever that
The happenings in this Lugano concert are outstanding:
Cannonball's alto sax, itself an invitation to jazz wonderland
and Nat Adderley's cornet, with its persistent warmth and
ebullience. Yusef Lateef's tenorsax, flute and oboe: he's one of
those musicians who have captured the sound of jazz, a
considerable achievement - furthermore, no matter how you look at
Lateef's work, you have the feeling that he has never been
awarded the recognition he deserves. Joe Zawinul's piano of the
time sounds like a cross section of many bop and hard bop
pianists and, at one and the same time, he's so convincing, solid
and always willing that you can't escape the feeling there must
be a lot of Zawinuls that never got a chance to develop! Sam
Jones' bass swings so hard you could certainly listen to him just
keep time and be happy. Last but not least, Louis Hayes' drumming
is meant to keep everybody busy at giving the best of themselves.
This is a recording you'll enjoy time and again. Both because
it's live and so very much alive.
Norberto Gimelfarb, University of Lausanne, University of Geneva