The CANNONBALL ADDERLEY Quintet at The Lighthouse
Nat Adderley (cnt) Cannonball Adderley (as) Victor Feldman (p) Sam Jones (b) Louis Hayes (drs)
'live' at The Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach California; October 16, 1960
Sack o’Woe (10:41) (Julian Adderley)
Big “P” (5:55) (Jimmy Heath)
Blue Daniel (7:24) (Frank Rossolino)
Azule Serape (9:27) (Victor Feldman)
Exodus (7:39) (Vic Stanley)
What Is This Thing Called Love? (4:43) (Cole Porter)
This great-warming exciting and deeply earthy album is the third – and in many ways the most satisfying – recording by the remarkable CANNONBALL ADERLEY Quintet, a group that has proven to e one of the major, and certainly one of the very swiftest, success stories in jazz.
Like their first LP (the phenomenally widely-enjoyed Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco), this one was taken down while the band was in the process of acting upon and re-acting to a richly enthusiastic and more than room-filling night club audience. The setting is the most celebrated of southern California jazz spots. The Lighthouse, located in a suburb of Los Angeles. The occasion was a one-day, Sunday afternoon-and-night stand by the Adderley group, the culmination of a month-long triumphal stay in and around L. A. (onetime stronghold of “cool” jazz) by this thoroughly warm and soulful band.
The Lighthouse itself is something of a phenomenon among jazz clubs, not only because it has stayed in business of a dozen years, but even more because it has remained a relaxed, low-pressure and resolutely popularly-priced club – and therefore, from a musician’s point of view, invariably a good place to play in and a magnet for good, listening audiences. It has been famous for more than a decade as a focal point for the West Coast brand of jazz; Cannonballs quintet is one of the few Eastern groups to have played here. They became the first non-cool group to record there largely because of the nature of the audience response a month earlier, when the quintet had opened their Los Angeles stay in front of a consistently overflow Lighthouse crowd. The very next day Cannonball called New York to report enthusiastically that (a) the band, to which pianist Vic Feldman had just been added, would decidedly be fully ready and eager to record before leaving California, and (b) these stimulatingly appreciative fans were by all means the people to do it with.
There is really nothing surprising in the Californian’s reaction to the group, for it has become quite clear that this quintet is just about universally recognized as one of the most invigorating ingredients ever added to the unique musical brew we call jazz. Organized in the Fall of 1959, they have enjoyed from the start an overwhelmingly widespread and passionate public acceptance. Their preciously-mentioned first album (recorded almost exactly a year before this one, during their first sizeable engagement, which was at one of northern Californian’s top clubs, The Jazz Workshop) was an instantaneous hit. It was followed by a steady flow of gratifyingly crowded appearances at clubs, concerts and festivals. Almost overnight, they leaped from nowhere to a spot somewhere near the top of the heap. This is a group made up of two horns of immense jazz stature, buoyed up by a most enviable rhythm section. It is amazingly close-knit, both musically and personally. Julian and Nat are not only brothers, but even more importantly (to repeat a phrase I have used before but like too well not to stick with) they are soul-brothers. Sam Jones has known and valued the Adderleys since Florida boyhood days; Lou Hayes, a young but musical mature powerhouse, has meshed completely with the group from the first. As for the newcomer, Victor Feldman, his performance here tells (far more clearly then words could) just how exciting and funky a musician this young Englishman is and just how deeply his presence is welcomed by the others. Feldman is going to startle a lot of people: in four years in this country, spent mostly on the West Coast, he had given few indications that he could play like this. Maybe musical environment has a lot to do with it, but those of us who heard his very first rehearsal with the group had thereafter no doubt at all that Cannonball had made a totally right move in hiring him.
It is also quite obvious that these five are craftsmen, real professionals in the best sense of the word – a quality that is as uncommon in jazz as anywhere else in the world. There are superb soloists here, but listen to the ensembles and backgrounds and you’ll become aware that this is far more than just another good ‘blowing’ band. It is also deeply apparent that they love and enjoy their work, and that this includes another rare trait: a real desire to have their listeners enjoy it, too. (This last point is firmly underlined by Cannoball’s warm, witty and articulate spoken additions to the proceedings.)
The six selections here make up a strong and varied cross-section. Cannon’s Sack o’ Woe is irresistably rhythmic and deeply in the “souls” groove (a different version of it appears on Nat Addeley’s “Work Song” album.) The bright and surging Big “P”, written by tenorman Jimmy Heath, is named for his note brother, bassist Percy Heath. By way of contrast is the almost delicate charm of Frank Rossolino’s Blue Daniel. Vic Feldman contributed the unusual Azule Serape (approximate English translation: Blue Shawl), which has been described as “funky Latin.” Exodus is a brisk and rather intricate line; and the closer is a romp through the standard What Is This Thing Called Love?
In the opening paragraph I called this album more “satisfying” than its predecessors. This is by no means whatsover to belittle the earlier albums.” . . . in San Francisco” has a rare, captivating fire and spontaneity that renders completely irrelevant the fact tha tthis was then a newly-formed group. “Them Dirty Blues” is, naturally enough, musically better-knit, more than compensating for the fact that it presents this volatile group in a studio, or non-audience-reaction, setting. We are more than proud of both. But the album in hand would seem to join the well-organized togetherness of one with the “live” vitality of the other – a combination that has to be pretty unbeatable.
(The cover photo, by William Claxton, shows – left to right – Victor, Nat, Cannonball, Sam and Louis on the beach near The Lighthouse.)
The quintet’s previous albums are –
The CANNONBALL ADDERLEY Quintet in San Francisco (RLP 12-311 and Stereo RLP 1157)
Them Dirty Blues: CANNONBALL ADDERLEY Quintet (RLP 12-322 and Stereo RLP 1170)
The Adderley brothers are also separately featured on such Riverside LPs as –
Things Are Getting Better: CANNONBALL ADDERLEY with Milt Jackson (RLP 12-286 and Stereo RLP 1128)
CANNONBALL Takes Charge (RLP 12-303 and Stereo RLP 1148)
Work Song: NAT ADDERLEY, with Wes Montgomery (RLP 12-318 and Stereo RLP 1167)
That’s Right!: NAT ADDERLEY and The Big Sax Section (RLP 330 and Stereo RLP 9330)
SAM JONES, playing both bass and cello, leads an all-star lineup on his own Riverside album –
The soul Society; with Nat Adderley, Blue Mitchell, Bobby Timmons, Jimmy Heath, Louis Hayes (RLP 12-324 and Stereo RLP 1172)
(The present recoding is also available in Stereophonic form on RLP 9344)
Produced and notes written by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover designed by KEN DEADOFF
Recording Engineer: WALLY HEIDER
Mastered by JACK MATTHEWS (Components Corp.) on a HYDROFEED lathe.
RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street New York 36, N.Y.