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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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In New York

Riverside 0888072305038




1. Introduction by Cannonball
2. Gemini
3. Planet Earth
4. Dizzy's Business
5. Syn-Anthesia
6. Scotch and Water
7. Cannon's Theme
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley - Alto sax
Nat Adderley - Cornet
Yusef Lateef - Tenor sax, flute, oboe
Joe Zawinul - Piano
Sam Jones - Bass
Louis Hayes - Drums

This is a reissue in the "Keepnews Collection" of albums originally supervised by Orrin Keepnews. The session was recorded at New York's Village Vanguard in 1962 and Orrin's sleeve-note says that it might be considered a companion piece to the first album he recorded with Cannonball in San Francisco in 1959. That was also a live album and, in some ways, the Adderley groups are best heard in live settings, as the atmosphere suits the band's innate dynamism. Orrin's sleeve-note also points out that Yusef Lateef and Joe Zawinul were recording with the band for the first time, and they certainly fit in well.

Gemini is in six-eight time and starts with a storming solo from Cannonball, full of quirky quotes. His brother Nat follows on cornet: restrained at first but then upping the ante with a solo that recklessly steps across bar-lines. Yusef Lateef solos on tenor-sax, betraying some of his oriental leanings, followed by Zawinul contributing a judicious solo.

And so the fun continues, usually following roughly the same sequence of soloists and mostly at fast tempos. This is one of the small drawbacks of the album - that there is possibly too little variety. Yet the exhilaration is such that one's foot keeps tapping through the hustling Planet Earth, the beboppish Dizzy's Business (originally written by Ernie Wilkins for Dizzy Gillespie's big band), and Yusef Lateef's composition Syn-Anthesia (featuring Yusef on flute). This last tune is a mysterious piece which offers a contrast to the surrounding up-tempo numbers.

The show ends with Joe Zawinul's Scotch and Water, a blues which gives solo opportunities to the unbeatable Cannonball and the comfortably-swinging Zawinul, and the sign-off tune Cannon's Theme - another blues during which Cannonball introduces the band to the audience, who can be heard still wanting more. I could have done with more, as the CD's playing-time of 45 minutes is rather miserly in this day and age. On the other hand, the excitement might have been too much!

Tony Augarde






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