Louis Hayes And The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band – Live At Cory Weeds’Cellar Jazz Club – CellarLive

Louis Hayes And The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band – Live At Cory Weeds’Cellar Jazz Club – CellarLive CL120513, 67:12 ****: 

(Louis Hayes – drums; Vincent Herring – also saxophone; Jeremy Pelt – trumpet; Rick Germanson – piano; Dezron Douglas – acoustic bass; Cory Weeds – tenor saxophone, track 7)

The association of Louis Hayes with Cannonball Adderley goes back to his first recording with the group in 1959 entitled The Cannonball Quintet In San Francisco which was issued on Riverside Records. Hayes continued to be an integral part of various iterations of the Quintet and other Adderley combinations until Cannonball’s death in 1975. So heading up a Legacy Band over fifty years later, is not only a testament to Hayes’ longevity, but also to the influence that Adderley had as a musician during his lifetime.

This Hayes lead organization is a cracker-jack outfit, full of style, bite, and swing. The band rips though a set-list of tunes that were associated with Adderley, and for the most part, were written by previous band members, or by Cannonball and his brother Nat. The front line of alto saxophonist Vincent Herring and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is first rate. Each plays with the necessary fire, acute intensity, and self-possession that makes them a powerful combination. Supported by a rhythm section that’s driven by the hard-bop aggression of drummer Louis Hayes, the overall results are a high-octane musical experience.

Victor Feldman, who was the pianist for Cannonball’s quintet for a time, wrote three of the tunes offered here including “Exodus”, “Chant” and “Lisa”. These compositions all have a similar foot-tapping, harmonic articulation that propelled the band to explore those hidden aspects of the pieces. Herring and Pelt, with their incisive potency, are particularly adept at finding the groove that lies within the tunes’ framework. Another pianist who first joined Cannonball at the same time as Louis Hayes, was Bobby Timmons, whose composition “Dat Dere” became a staple of the group. In the version offered here, following the long opening sequence of unison playing from Herring and Pelt, pianist Rick Germanson takes over the solo space for an extended two-fisted improvisation. At times, he may harken-back to Timmons, but it is undoubtedly his own vision. Bassist Dezron Douglas, who according to the liner notes was playing with a borrowed instrument, follows Germanson with a solid resonant solo after which the band takes the tune out.

The set closes with a Cannonball original entitled “Sack Of Woe”. Written in a straight-ahead soulful style, the band captures the effervescence of the arrangement, showing the appropriate swagger, all tucked behind Hayes’ percussive coloration. All in all this effort was an especially spirited outing.

TrackList: Exodus; Chant; Arriving Soon; Dat Dere; Lisa; Naturally; Easy To Love; Sack Of Woe

—Pierre Giroux

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