The Cannonball Adderley Quintet In San Francisco – Keepnews Collection – Riverside

by | Apr 16, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet  In San Francisco – Keepnews Collection – Riverside RCD- 30131-2  (1959/2007), 78:32 ****:

(Cannonball Adderley, alto saxophone; Nat Adderley, cornet; Bobby Timmons, piano; Sam Jones, bass; Louis Hayes, drums)

Reissued as part of legendary Riverside producer Orrin Keepnews’ Collection, the Adderley brothers first live album, recorded at San Francisco’s Jazz Workshop October 18 and 20, 1959, is a true gem. According to the liner notes, Keepnews briefly worried about releasing a live album with between-song chatter and an audible audience in the background. After the success of the album, those idiosyncrasies became standard format for live jazz albums.

The album begins with This Here, by pianist Bobby Timmons, the man responsible for the Jazz Messengers classic, Moanin’. Starting with doubled horn lines from Nat and Cannonball Adderley, the song moves into a smooth, bluesy solo from Cannoball that shows off his mastery of melodic, swinging lines. The tune is in a waltz tempo, but it sounds like a 4/4 tempo played half a beat off, giving it a unique rhythm that all three soloists (Cannoball, Nat, and Timmons) play off wonderfully. Since it’s his tune, Timmons’ solo hops and bounces with supreme confidence.

Next is Spontaneous Combustion, which begins with Timmons playing big-sounding chords on the upbeat as the horns play out the song’s theme. Cannonball’s solo is masterful, with nothing forced in his tone or note choice. Nat’s solo feels a tad showy, but the energy of his playing eventually wins you over. Timmons’ solo is full of gorgeous trills and true bop temperament, his style of playing always seeming one step ahead of the beat.

You Got It
features a propulsive rhythm from drummer Louis Hayes and a quick, scale-scaling solo from Cannonball. Nat’s solo is impossibly fast, darting in and out of the meter and exploding in staccato bursts of notes, punctuated by cymbal crashes from Hayes. Timmons and bassist Sam Jones share a solo, competing for the listeners’ attention with quick and inventive lines.

The reissue features three unreleased tracks, including a second version of This Here recorded on a different live date at the Jazz Workshop. The alternate version features a longer, brassier solo from Cannonball that, in my opinion, pales in comparison to the one on the album. Nat’s solo, however, is better than the original, sounding more smooth and controlled.

Hearing the Adderley brothers play inventive solo after inventive solo in an electric live setting has the effect of spoiling the listener; you start to take such talent for granted. The fact that the brothers and their sidemen made their hard bop sound so effortless is a testament to how skilled they truly were.

This Here, Spontaneous Combustion, Hi-Fly, You Got It, Bohemia After Dark, Straight, No Chaser, This Here (alternate take), You Got It (alternate take)

– Daniel Krow

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