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Various Artists: Cannon Re-Loaded: All-Star Celebration of Cannonball Adderley

Jim Santella By

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Alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley was one of the major figures in jazz from the mid '50s to his death in 1975. His songs became soulful anthems that generations of jazz fans loved, making heads nod and shoulders weave in time. Along with his trumpeter brother Nat, Cannonball made sure that his music would reach out and remain a part of one's psyche: from aspiring musicians to older veterans who loved Satchmo, Miles, the Count and the Duke. Cannonball's music is perfect for this era of jazz education. Students can have it both ways, analyzing to their hearts' content yet still feeling the thrill.

Alto saxophonist Tom Scott does a superb job of reloading Adderley's songs in this allstar tribute. With trumpeter Terence Blanchard, pianist George Duke and organist Larry Goldings, he gets a big, round sound from such Adderley favorites as "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Jive Samba," "Sack o' Woe" and perhaps Nat's most famous composition, "Work Song." Scott switches to soprano for "Country Preacher," laying down an attitude that fits the song well. Nancy Wilson, who tuned up her career while working with Adderley in the '60s and recorded with him for Capitol, joins the band for "Save Your Love for Me" (reprising a 1968 collaboration) and "The Masquerade is Over."

Talk about from-the-heart passion in music? This ensemble of veterans has the market cornered. Throughout the program, electric bassist Marcus Miller has his way with hip-shakin' expressions and drummer Steve Gadd shuffles with a solid rhythmic foundation. Scott and Blanchard emulate the Adderleys well, giving new life to the brothers' dreams. Looking forward, this stellar outfit should continue to bring back the memories of Cannonball Adderley through more heartfelt performances like this one.

Track Listing: Jive Samba; Work Song; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; Save Your Love for Me; Sack o

Personnel: Tom Scott: alto saxophone; Terence Blanchard: trumpet; George Duke: piano, electric piano; Marcus Miller: electric bass; Steve Gadd: drums; Larry Goldings: B-3 organ; Dave Carpenter: double bass (8, 10); Nancy Wilson: vocal (4, 9).

Title: Cannon Re-Loaded: All-Star Celebration of Cannonball Adderley | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

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