Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cannonball Revisited


© -  Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

The editorial staff at JazzProfiles couldn’t agree more with author Kenny Mathieson when he states “ … that Mr. Adderley’s Music was full of exhilaratingly na├»ve freshness and always swung hard.”

A case in point can be found in the blistering solo Cannonball uncorks on the following video which offers associative graphics from the crackerjack production team at CerraJazz LTD in support of an audio track featuring The Cannonball Adderley Quintet on bassist Sam Jones’ tune – Unit 7.

The solo that Cannonball takes from 1:00 – 2:55 minutes is full of invention, dazzling execution and breath-taking speed. Few Jazz alto saxophonists have ever played the instrument with such facility.


In what Mr. Mathieson calls “a model of Jazz research and scholarship,” Chris Sheridan in his Dis Here: A Bio-Discography of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley observes:

“Unlike some jazz musicians, Canonball’s style was a mirror image of his personality: large, eloquent, outgoing and above all predisposed to the sunnier side of life, despite a rare eloquence in interpretation of jazz's most basic material, the blues. It was a sense of optimism in much of his playing that echoed that of trumpeter Clifford Brown.”

Bassist Sam Jones graciously allowed the name of his tune to be altered to Cannon’s Theme and you can hear it once again performed in the following video tribute to Cannonball, this time with Yusef Lateef’s addition on tenor saxophone making the group into a short-lived sextet [Charles Lloyd had preceded him on tenor and flute].

After Cannonball does the closing introductions, Yusef really gets it going on this version of the tune with a rollicking solo beginning at 1:29 minutes.