221

George Shearing/Cannonball Adderley Quintets: At Newport

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count

The Newport Jazz Festival, July 5, 1957.



At Newport is a potent study in contrasts. Presented here are back-to-back sets, all previously unreleased, by the respective quintets at the 1957 event. Adderley’s band emits the Southern funk of the Delta, the church, and the roadhouse, testifying the cleansing fire of the blues. Shearing, on the other hand, exudes a polished British urbanity as heard in "the Shearing Sound," with its combination of high end vibes, low end guitar, and the piano weaving in and out of the middle.



Two years after the death of Charlie Parker, the Adderley performance is a searing culmination of the previous 15 innovative years in jazz. The opener, JJ Johnson’s "Wee Dot" explodes as if shot from a howitzer, covering the landscape with a shower of bebop. The band is evenly miked and all instruments have equal share. This results in thunder when Jimmy Cobb trades 32s, 16s and 8s with the rest of the band.



Junior Mance shows how he is possibly the only pianist to originally replace Gene Harris for chordal support to the Brothers Adderley. "A Foggy Day" shows Julian Adderley ready to assume the throne of Parker’s incendiary ballad playing. But never far from the blues, "Sam’s Tune" and "Hurricane Connie" give the whole band a sanctified workout. Nate Adderley’s "Sermonette" is the surprise spiritual center of the set, illuminating the definitive link between the church and jazz.



No less a bebop expert, George Shearing opens his set with Ray Bryant’s circuitous "Pawn Ticket." All band members occupy ample space, illustrating the "Shearing Sound" that jettisoned the pianist onto the map in 1949 with his recording of "September in the Rain." That same sound expands on the ballads, "It Never Entered My Mind" and "There Never Will Be Another You."

The Adderleys join Shearing on Curtis Fuller’s "Soul Station," a pungent meeting of the minds. The sheer power of the Adderleys is tempered, not tamed by Shearing’s sophisticated approach. The blues piece "Soul Station" is the longest on the disc, offering everyone an opportunity to show off their chops, particularly Toots Theilemans, whose guitar ability equals his harmonica talent. After a Shearingian reading of "Old Devil Moon," and the addition of Armando Peraza on congas, the pianist ends his set with Dezil Best’s "Nothin' But the Best."



Unreleased live performances of this caliber are rare. I have had the opportunity to review a heap of this type of material, and little of it can hold a candle to this rather odd set. It will be interesting to see if the Fantasy Records basement has more of this quality to offer.


Track Listing: [Cannonball Adderley Quintet] Wee Dot; A Foggy Day; Sermonette; Sam

Personnel: [Cannonball Adderley Quintet] Julian Adderley

Title: At Newport | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Honey And Salt" CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "The Motorman's Son" CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Here’s to You..." CD/LP/Track Review Here’s to You...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's" CD/LP/Track Review Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.