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Cannonball Adderley: Radio Nights

Jim Santella By

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Radio broadcasts from The Half Note in New York during the last week of 1967 and the first week of 1968 make up the set of distinctive material on Radio Nights. The live audience reaction puts the listener right there, to share in each exciting moment. Cannonball Adderley was at his best, and the ensembles remained loose. Microphone placement does considerable damage to the balance: Joe Zawinul and Nat Adderley are, at times, in the far-off distance. The leader, however, remains at the forefront and full of life. His alto soared through these classic songs night after night. Roy McCurdy and Louis Hayes propelled the unit. The Adderley brothers' saxophone and cornet front line was always on target. Together, they made hot, straight-ahead magic. Cannonball is at his best soaring through 'Fiddler On The Roof' with complete freedom. Charles Lloyd joins the ensemble for 'Work Song,' 'The Song My Lady Sings' and 'Unit Seven.' Unfortunately, the balance prevents him from being recorded adequately. There are moments, but the overall treatment just doesn't work out well. Even the leader fades into the ether for his four-minute solo feature on 'Unit Seven.' A bonus track, from The Keystone Korner in San Francisco, settles down with the blues and gospel. Adderley offers spoken introductions that add immeasurably to the session. It's not a complete entity, but it's a welcome bonus nevertheless. Radio Nights features Cannonball Adderley's ensemble in top form, but the recording methods have taken a damaging toll.

Track Listing: The Little Boy With the Sad Eyes; Midnight Mood; Stars Fell on Alabama; Fiddler on the Roof; Work Song; The Song My Lady Sings; Unit Seven; Cannonball Monologues on ?Oh Babe? & ?Country Preacher?.

Personnel: Cannonball Adderley- alto saxophone; Nat Adderley- cornet; Charles Lloyd- tenor saxophone; Joe Zawinul- piano; Sam Jones- bass; Louis Hayes, Roy McCurdy- drums.

Title: Radio Nights | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Hyena Records

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