Norman Granz was on hand to record music from Cannonball Adderley's first European tour in 1960, but he and the Adderley estate have been parsimonious in dealing out the goods. It took 24 years for Part One, What Is This Thing Called Soul to emerge, and another 13 years passed before this follow-up album came out. But better late than never, as they say, and the reward is hearing Cannonball's alto in full ecstatic flight, lots of fighting work from brother Nat on cornet and the prized rhythm section of Victor Feldman (piano), Sam Jones (bass) and Louis Hayes (drums) in a state of complete rapport…
Early material from Nat Adderley. His pithy, pungent trumpet and cornet work is effective in a hard bop context, although his own work outside his brother's group has never seemed quite as effective. His backing group included Kenny Clarke in a non-Modern Jazz Quartet role, plus pianist Hank Jones, bassist Wendell Marshall, and Jerome Richardson on tenor sax and flute, playing with more punch than on either his Quincy Jones or Oliver Nelson large group dates.
Adderley has evidently found a soul mate in alto saxophonist Vince Herring, with whom he works once more on this 1990 date. Herring's voice has grown more impressive with each release, and he now offers more than just dazzling lines and phrases; he's constructing and completing confident statements. Pianist Rob Bargad, another regular, is on board, with bassist James Genus and drummer Billy Drummond.
One of Nat Adderley's finest albums. Sometimes the inclusion of tuba in a small-group modern jazz setting can produce whale-like results among a school of dolphin, but that's not the case here. Tuba man Laymon Jackson doesn't dominate or weigh down the proceedings, but merely gives them another texture. Nat is in fine form; I like his Miles mode on BLUE CONCEPT a lot. Tune selection for the date is also top rate: the two compositions by Duke Pearson (WHAT NEXT? and LITTLE MISS) are especially good. Nat Adderley fans and modern jazz lovers in general should like this ambitious CD very much.
Verve Jazz Masters 31 presents an introduction to the recordings of Cannonball Adderley. The enclosed booklet includes biographical material and commentary on the songs selected.
Cannonball Adderley was a happy man in an angry time. His success was largely based on that fact and so were his limitations. Called 'the new Bird" because of his remarkable facility on the alto saxophone, he never plumbed the dark depths of sorrow the way his predecessor did: he was Ella Fitzgerald to Charlie Parker's Billie Holiday. Nor did he ebulllient saxophone is showcased here playing classic songs, in small combos, swinging octets, and backed by string orchestras - from his mid-Fifties output for Mercury and EmArcy. With Paul Chambers, Kenny Clarke, John Coltraine, J.J. Johnson, Wynton Kelly an, of course, Cannonball's brother, Nat.
Adderly worked with psychedelic cosmonaut David Axelrod among others and the religious themes which borrow from the Bible to the Bhagavad Gita and Buddhism make an interesting backdrop to the blues jazz rock fusion showcased on this double album. i've come back to this album more than a few times only to pick up on something new on the way. it's a fun idea to put cool religious/philosophical concepts over swinging seventies soul jazz fusion. not that the sermons are long and dominate the record - they don't . they usually just open a new set and leave you to marvel at some profound idea while the musicians do their thing after that! Somewhat similar or comparable to Miles' "Bitch's Brew" album, though perhaps less dark.