Adderley fired his first shot, a salvo heard throughout the
entire world of jazz, when his initial album (MG 36043) was
released less than a year ago. Soon after, he was featured in a
quintet session under the leadership of his brother, Nat , on the
Wing label; more recently, "Cannonball" was featured
with a string ensemble, arranged and conducted by Richard Hayman,
in an impressive set of performances on standard tunes, (MG
36063). These albums, further implemented by guest appearances
with Sarah Vaughan and other visitors to the Land of Hi Fi,
succeeded in their objective of establishing "Cannonball' as
a major new jazz talent.
With the present excursion of the
Adderley brothers and their cohorts to the Land of Hi Fi,
"Cannonball" returns approximately to the same format
and setting featured on his first album. Ernie Wilkins served as
conductor and arranger. Like Quincy Jones, who was the musical
director on the first Adderley session, Ernie recently returned
from a tour of the Middle East, during which he played in the
all-star band sponsored by the State Department and led by Dizzy
Gillespie. On returning home, he put down the saxophone, picked
up the pen and went promptly to work on this album, recorded in
June, 1956 with the following participants: Nat Adderley, cornet;
Ernie Royal, trumpet; "Cannonball" Adderley, alto sax;
Jerome Richardson, tenor sax and flute; Danny Bank, baritone Sax;
Jimmy Cleveland and Bobby Byrne, trombones; Junior Mance, piano;
Charlie "Specs" Wright, drums; Keeter Betts, bass.
Most of the tunes heard on these
sides had never been recorded before. "Dog My Cats" is
and Ernie Wilkins original taken at a fast clip, starting with
some fine Mance piano work. "I'm Glad There Is You" is
a sensitive Wilkins treatment of the standard tune, showing
"Cannonball" in his best ballad mood.
"Blues from Bohemia",
despite its title, is actually built on a thirty-two bar
construction, with some excellent work by Nat Adderley, whose
tone and style occasionally recall Clark Terry, and by
"Cannonball", who named this tune for the Greenwich
Village night club where New Yorkers first saw, heard and raved
about him in the summer of 1955.
dreamed up, of course, by Mr. Mance, is a slightly old-timey
theme with a pleasant beat and excellent work by Mance and both
Adderleys, "Between the Devil and the Deep Blues Sea"
is a Harold Arlen song of 1931, in which Jimmy Cleveland's chorus
is startling in its technique and dazzling in style, a match for
the brilliant fluency of "Cannonball" himself, some of
whose finest alto work is heard here.
"Casa De Marcel", a tune
written by a young writer named Marcel Daniels from Chicago, is
an attractive medium-tempo item. "Little Girl Blue",
except for a piano interlude, is "Cannonball" all the way. "T's Tune", a
brain child of one Thomas Turrentine,
a trumpet player from Pittsburgh who once worked around the
Middle West along with Ernie Wilkins in the George Hudson
orchestra. It's a slow, funky blues with more wonderful work by
Mance and "Cannonball".
"Broadway at Basin
Street", starting with an alto cadenza, goes into fast
minor-key ad libbing by "Cannonball" before the time is
cut in half for some unison ensemble work. This tune supposedly
is the Basin Street club's answer to "Lullaby of
Birdland", New York's Basin Street, we need hardly add, is
not a street at all, but a bistro located on 51st Street just off
Broadway. "Cannonball's" group has played there several
times in recent months.
"Just Norman", a boppish
original, has fine work by Nat and Julian, as well as some solo
flashed by Specs, who composed it. The meaning of the title is
wrapped in mystery; Specs was out of town as these notes went to
press, so we were unable to confirm the rumor that it was
dedicated to Norman Vincent Peale. The set closes with "I
Don't Care", a minor-key original by Ray Bryant, a young
Philadelphia pianist In addition to "Cannonball's"
remarkable work here, there is some fine flute by Jerome
Richardson, in both solo and ensemble capacity. Jerome
Richardson, in both solo and ensemble capacity. Jerome is one of
the few men who can make a growl convincingly; those who remember
the late, great Esy Morales will know what we mean.
To sum up, this is a lively,
swinging session of unpretentious modern jazz that will serve
further to consolidate "Cannonball's' reputation as one of
the big guns in contemporary music.