CANNONBALL ADDERLEY QUINTET Plus
Nat Adderley (cnt) Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (as) Victor Feldman (vib on Side 1, #2 and 3; Side 2, #1 and 2 and piano)
Wynton Kelly (p except on Side 1, #1; Side 2, #3) Sam Jones (b) Louis Hayes (drs)
New York City; May 11, 1961
Arriving Soon (8:11) (Eddie Vinson)
Well, You Needn’t (6:25) (Thelonious Monk)
New Delhi (6:54) (Victor Feldman)
Winentone (7:00) (Wynton Kelly)
Star Eyes (7:04) (Raye – DePaul)
Lisa (6:37) (Feldman – Zito)
About one year, six months and twenty-three days before the date of this particular recording, the CANNONBALL ADDERLEY Quintet produced twelve minutes and twenty-six seconds of musical explosiveness entitled This Here. As we all know, the stir that followed was considerable. A hit record, a great swing over to “soul” music (a type of music that Ben Webster’s been playing for thirty years without knowing it), and a great new wave of popularity for Julian Adderley and his group.
Actually, though, we bystanders shouldn’t have been too surprised by all this. The large gentleman from Florida has been roaring through the music business saying “You know what I Mean?” and showing us what he meant ever since that notable mid-1950s evening in New York when, as an unknown, he strode upon the bandstand at the Café Bohemia and proceeded to blow the walls down. Cannon had brought real freshness to the scene then, brought it again with his recording of This Here, did it once again with his subsequent efforts in the area of big-band music (African Waltz, etc.) and, I am convinced, ahs done so yet another time with the recording contained in this jacket.
Ever since the recordings of Bobby Timmons’ This Here, Cannonball has been deeeply associated with the “soul” aspect of jazz: music that is rustic in design, semi-religious in flavor, heavily rooted in the blues. With this album, I fee, Cannonball shows us yet another aspect of the Adderley emotional tract. The “soul” is still decidedly there, but these tracks seem to indicate that some attractive new seasonings have been added to the boiling pot, the end result being Adderley music that’s just a little happier, a little lighter, a little more humorous than before. If this is possible! I think that after hearing the group on old standbys like Well You Needn’t and Star Eyes, and on Victor Feldman and Torrie Zito’s intriguing Lisa, you’ll understand exactly what I mean, and that you’ll agree with me.
This, to me, is certainly one excellent reason for the “Plus” in the album title. But since, of course, I hadn’t yet heard the music when I was first asked to write these notes. I found that word fairly mysterious. When I asked Orrin Keepnews of Riverside, he allowed as how there were several reasons for it. Aside from the obvious fact that, on the album, Wynton Kellly was added to the group (and in addition to the just-noted musical reason I found on listening to the record), he brought up another interesting point. This album was recorded just after the group returned from a lengthy and highly-successful European tour. Thus you are hearing musicians fresh from a steady stint of playing together night after night, playing these tunes, molded and jelled into a tightly-knit creative organization. Lines fresh in their minds, a strong feeling for the tunes and for each other – this is definitely a plus factor for any musical organization.
With regard to the aforementioned Wynton Kelly “plus” – the addition of Kelly (who happens to e a close musical and personal friend of virtually all involved here) allows us to hear, in addition to the remarkable Mr. Kelly himself, the full instrumentation of the Adderley Quintet plus Victor Feldman’s tasty vibes. When the horns drop out on portions of tunes, the remaining rhythm quartet is delightfully-forceful. (One friend of mine described it as “sorta like a hairy Modern Jazz Quartet” – with no offense intended, I’m sure.) As for the full group: Cannon excites you with every key on his axe; Nat plays better than ever before (as he seems to have been doing each time out for quite a while now); Wynton is zestfully melodic, as ever; Vic makes the transition from instrument to instrument beautifully; Louis Hayes’ fine taste shines though like the guiding light that it is; and Sam Jones walks on, twelve feel tall.
Arriving Soon, the album-opener, is a new Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson original. The blues-singer and altoist had been off the scene for a few years, but Cannon ran across him in Kansas City and extracted a few choice numbers from him, including this haunting theme. (I don’t know about the state of your pictorial imagination, but during Cannon’s dramatic opening statement I can see John Cassavetes staring from a West 67th Street rooftop.) New Delhi is a Vic Feldman tune with a beautiful melody line, excellent vibes, and prettily-muted work by Nat. Lisa, recorded before by Feldman on his own Riverside album, “Merry Ole soul” (RLP 366; Stereo 9366), is given slightly faster treatment this time, which seems to make Lisa a more exciting and sinister chick; and Cannon tells the tale beautifully. Thelonious Monk’s Well You Needn’t is taken at a brisk clip, lends itself to this rather rollicking treatment, and displays an impressive feeling of band unity. The Brothers Adderley are exceptionally moving on Star Eyes where, after an opening Latin vamp,Cannonball almost explodes into the melody, leading Nat into the soaring release. Winetone, a blues line by Kelly, draws its title from Chicago disk jockey Daddy-o Daylie’s special pronunciation of the composer’s name. The date’s only unfamiliar tune for the group –actually, Wynton worked it up in the studio – it comes off in a way that suggests that, when things are feeling right and going right, both total spontaneity and pre-set organization are likely to be equally effective.
There is little more to say. Whether you be a deep-dyed fan or not, I think you’ll rally like this album. The Adderley excitement is there, the Adderley “soul” is there, and then there’s that new something-else – that Cannonball Adderley Quintet Plus factor. You know what I mean?
Other CANNONBALL ADDERLEY albums include –
African Waltz (RLP 377; Stereo 9377)
Cannonball Adderleyand the Pollwinners (RLP 355; Stereo 9355)
Cannonball Adderley Quintet at the Lighthouse (RLP 344; Stereo 9344)
Them Dirty Blues (RLP 322; Stereo 1170)
Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco (RLP 311; Stereo 1157)
Cannonball Takes Charge (RLP 303; Stereo 1148)
Things Are Getting Better; with Milt Jackson (RLP 286; Stereo 1128)
(This recording is available in both Stereophonic (RLP 9388) and Monaural (RLP 388) form.)
Produced by ORRIN KEEPNEW
Recording Engineer: RAY FOWLER
Recorded and mastered at Plaza Sound Studios
Album design: KEN DEARDOFF
Back-liner photograph: STEVE SCHAPIRO
Cover photograph: DON BRONSTEIN
RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GARUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York