Cannonball Adderley: In New York, In Europe, Domination


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Cannonball Adderley
In New York

Cannonball Adderley
In Europe
Blue Note

Cannonball Adderley
Blue Note

Alto saxophonist Julian "Cannonball Adderley led one of the most popular groups in jazz in the early '60s. So popular, in fact, that for three-and-a-half years his usual band, a quintet, was expanded into a sextet. Aside from that addition of a tenor saxophonist (first Yusef Lateef, later Charles Lloyd), the Adderley band of 1962 through 1965 was remarkably stable, with Cannonball and cornetist brother Nat joined by pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes. The In New York album was recorded at the Village Vanguard in early 1962, shortly after Zawinul and Lateef joined the band; Cannonball in Europe was recorded seven months later in Belgium.

As documents of the sextet with Lateef, the Vanguard session is more than serviceable, but it pales in contrast to the Belgian recording. The first is a very good band on a good day; the latter a very good band at its inspired best. Just listen to the two tunes common to both albums. At the Vanguard, Jimmy Heath's "Gemini has a slightly vacillating tempo - partly by design - and the solos are good but the riffing is a bit sloppy. In Belgium the tune has obviously become more familiar: The tempo is a tad brighter, Hayes' cymbal riding more vibrant and driving; there are more riffs and ensemble accents and the tune is much livelier. Cannonball's solo drives harder this time, with Dolphy-esque flights; Nat's cornet prances along, ending with a quote from "My Favorite Things and Lateef's tenor is more muscular.

"Dizzy's Business , an Ernie Wilkins tune originally written for Dizzy Gillespie's big band, is taken at a boppish up-tempo on the Vanguard recording, with fine solos all around, especially Nat's high-range cornet excursion. In Belgium, the tune is even faster and has gained a new intro, a more involved coming out for the alto solo. Cannonball is spurred on by the enthusiastic crowd (quoting "School Days at one point) and he and the rhythm section get into a scintillating groove, one Nat jumps on, off and running hard in the mid-range this time, goosed by Hayes' cymbals. Lateef's tenor digs in for a final testifying solo over a roaring crowd. The rest of the Vanguard album includes a variety of tempos, including an exotic minor key Lateef tune, "Syn-Anthesia , featuring his oboe—although his main solo is on tenor. His oboe is the lone horn on the blues "Trouble In Mind on the Belgian album and it's the only track that's not up-tempo. Even Nat's "Work Song is taken at a faster than usual clip.

Domination, a 1965 date, features an orchestra arranged for and conducted by Oliver Nelson and it's a worthy, little known addition to Cannonball's short catalogue of orchestral items, which includes the classic New Bottle Old Wine with arranger Gil Evans. Nelson's arrangements—of newer tunes from Cannonball band members (current and former) and a rare Cole Porter; a repertoire that may have been responsible for the album's commercial failure—are robust and jauntily swinging, full of rich tonal colors and timbral cushions for the solos by Cannonball and Nat, as well as for their unison leads. Cannonball's title tune and Nat's "Cyclops are so infectious it's surprising they didn't catch on, while J.J. Johnson's "Interlude and Zawinul's "Mystified (aka "Angel Face ) are big band arranging (flagwaver and ballad divisions) at its best. The CD is filled out, disjointedly, by "Experience in E , a 20-minute mish-mash of Third Stream orchestral music and jazz from composer William Fischer, part of a 1970 Cannonball album, where it should have remained.

Tracks and Personnel

In New York

Tracks: Gemini; Planet Eart; Dizzy's Business; Syn-Anthesia; Scotch and Water; Cannon's Theme.

Personnel: Cannonball Adderley: alto sax; Nat Adderley: cornet; Louis Hayes: drums; Sam Jones: bass; Yusef Lateef: flute, oboe, tenor sax; Joe Zawinul: piano.

In Belgium

Tracks: P. Bouk; A few words from Cannonball; Gemini; Work Song; More words from Cannonball; Trouble In Mind; Dizzy's Business.

Personnel: Cannonball Adderley: alto sax; Nat Adderley: cornet; Louis Hayes: drums; Sam Jones: bass; Yusef Lateef: flute, oboe, tenor sax; Joe Zawinul: piano.


Tracks: Domination; Cyclops; Introduction To A Samba; Shake A Lady; Interlude; Mystified (aka Angel Face); I Worship You; Gon Gong; Experience In E.

Personnel: Cannonball Adderley: alto sax; Oliver Nelson: arranger.


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