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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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CANNONBALL ADDERLEY
SEXTET

Jazz Workshop Revisited
Complete Edition

American Jazz Classics 99077

 

 

1. An Opening Comment By Cannonball

2. Primitivo

3. Jessica’s Day

4. Marney

5. A Few Words…

6. Unit 7

7. Another Few Words…

8. The Jive Samba

9. Lillie

10. Mellow Bruno

11. Time To Go Now…Really

12. New Delhi

13. Peter And The Goats

14. Never Say Yes

 

Cannonball Adderley – Alto sax

Nat Adderley – Cornet

Yusef Lateef – Tenor sax, flute, oboe

Joe Zawinul – Piano

Sam Jones – Bass

Louis Hayes – Drums

 

In the foreword to Cary Ginell’s biography of Cannonball Adderley entitled Walk Tall: The Music And Life of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Quincy Jones writes: “Excellence is not an act, it’s a habit and Cannonball Adderley made a habit of excellence”. The re-issue of Cannonball Adderley Sextet Jazz Workshop Revisited Complete Edition by American Jazz Classics is a perfect reminder of the truth in Quincy Jones’ quotation.

Recorded over September 21, 22, 23, 1962 at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco, this iteration of the sextet was undoubtedly Cannonball’s most successful and exciting due in no small measure to the added presence of multi-reed player Yusef Lateef. He (Lateef) would remain with the band for only one additional year after which he decided to strike out on his own. Lateef died on December 23, 2013, leaving Louis Hayes as the only surviving member of this remarkable band.

Cannonball loved making introductions, and so the album starts with pithy comments by him on his own composition Primitivo which opens with Lateef on bamboo flute accompanied by Sam Jones on cello, then Cannonball on alto supported by some high-register shrieks by Nat Adderley on trumpet. All the while, Louis Hayes drums punctuate the piece with exotic rhythms. Throughout the tune there are intriguing solos from Lateef on oboe and Joe Zawinul on piano.

Donald Byrd’s Marney has an Oliver Nelson Stolen Moments feel, again with a strong solo from Lateef on tenor this time, and Zawinul ripping off an especially energetic solo. Unit 7 by bassist Sam Jones had been used by the band as a theme for some time and was one of the most recognizable compositions that had been covered by many other jazz groups. Given the band’s familiarity with the tune, it swings beautifully with everyone offering strong solos and tight ensemble work. The band had a nation-wide hit on its hands with Nat Adderley’s The Jive Samba which is neither a samba nor a bossa nova, but a funky low-down Latin vibe. While everyone takes a solo spot, Lateef has a particularly wicked turn on flute about half way through the reading.

The original album ended with Lateef’s Ellington-inspired Mellow Bruno but this edition has three additional tracks that were originally recorded on September 21 but never released until now. The first is a Victor Feldman composition New Delhi which features a long flute solo from Lateef as well as cornetist Nat Adderley using a Harmon mute to spin out his ideas. The final two tracks are Lateef’s Peter And The Goats and Nat Adderley’s Never Say Yes and it is this latter tune that is the more interesting. It starts with Nat Adderley again using a Harmon mute to state the theme, which is then picked up by brother Cannonball on alto for an impressive turn where he never seems to run out of fresh ideas. Pianist Joe Zawinul, who stayed with Cannonball for over nine years and wrote Mercy, Mercy Mercy during that period, takes over for a long interlude and shows why he was such an important cog in the band.

This live session captures this particular version of the sextet at its best and with the three added tracks makes it an indispensable part of any Cannonball Adderley collection.

Pierre Giroux



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