Written by Fumo Verde
Once again Jazz Icons brings us another master of the sax, alto this time, with Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. This DVD contains two shows which only scratches the surface of the talent of this man. Adderlly didn’t come from the so-called “jazz cities” such as New York, Chicago, or St. Louis; his roots are planted in the southern state of Florida, where he honed his talents with brother Nat. As Rollins is to the tenor, Cannonball is to the alto and the spirit Adderley sure comes alive in these recordings.
Adderly plays with his sextet that includes such great musicians as a Sam Jones on bass, Yuesf Lateef on tenor sax, flute, and oboe. Brother Nat is also there on cornet along with Louis Hayes on drums and Joe Zawinul on piano. Adding these three instruments definitely gives a full body sound to what the sextet are looking for. Adderley knows how to use this fullness too. Be it big band, swing, or bebop, Adderley keeps it fresh and moving.
First show out of the box was in Lugano, Switzerland on March 24, 1963. The film looks old, like from a Jackie Gleason show but once the music starts the old-looking film just adds flavor to the project at hand. “Jessica’s Day” by Quincy Jones, originally named “Jessica’s Birthday,” opens up the show and it had me bopping about as I read through the 24-page booklet with liner notes and pictures. This show also includes “Dizzy’s Business,” “Trouble in Mind,” “Bohemia After Dark,” “Work Song,” and “Unit 7,” and of course, one of Cannonball’s most recognized tunes, “Jive Samba.” Let me not forget “Angel Eyes” where Lateef puts down his sax and picks up the flute. Coming off of a big booming jam like “Jessica’s Day”, “Angel Eyes” draws down the tempo, giving the show a softer side. “Jive Samba” follows it with its Latin flavor and quick tempo; the Swiss crowd gets into the rhythm.