CANNONBALL ADDERLEY SEXTET
Nat Adderley (cnt) Cannonball Adderley (as) Yusef Lateef (fl, oboe, ts) Joe Zawinul (p) Sam Jones (b)
Louis Hayes (drs)
‘live’ at Kosei-Nenkin Hall, Tokyo; July 9, 1963
Dizzy’s Business (6:01) SMJ-6130
Primitivo (12:12) -
Work Song (9:09) - OJC-435 OJCCD-435-2 VICJ-23652CD
This Here (11:27) M-9106, VIJ-4031
‘live’ at Sankei-Hall, Tokyo; July 14, 1963
Easy to Love (3:46) RM(S9)-477 OJC-435CD VICJ-23652
The Weaver (10:50) RM(S9)-477 - OJC-435CD
Autumn Leaves (7:27) SMJ-6130
Bohemia after Dark (4:50) M-9106 VIJ-4031
‘live’ at Sankei-Hall, Tokyo; July 15, 1963
Nippon Soul (9:31) RM(S9)-477
Tengo Tango (2:33) -
Come Sunday (6:57) (1) -
Brother John (12:57) -
Jive Samba (10:37) SMJ-6130
Alexander the Great, according to ancient legend, led his troops to victories over just about every known country at a very early age – and then wept because there were no more worlds to conquer.
While we are not going to suggest too direct a comparison, it is true enough that Cannonball Adderley has led his sextet (and before that, a quintet) through triumphant engagements in a great many clubs in just about every major American city. Several of these dates have also produced very triumphant record albums. And there have been, in addition, successful tours of many European countries, as the Adderley group has produced since 1959 to build and maintain a reputation as one of the best and best-loved jazz groups of our time.
This would seem to have left this band with very little more to accomplish. But Julian Adderley and his cohorts, despite eing very soulful people, are not much given to tears. So, instead of weeping, they set out to find new worlds to conquer. It’s still a bit early to attempt to be the first jazz group on the moon or Mars, but there was the relatively unexplored territory of Japan. Those few jazz headliners who had already been there (such as the bands of Art Blakey and Horace Silver) had reported that this was quite fertile ground. So it is scarcely surprising that the Adderley Sextet’s first Japanese tour turned out to be a wild success. They drew sell-out crowds to concerts at Tokyo’s Sankei Hall (roughly the size of Carnegie Hall), an achievement that reportedly had previously been accomplished only by another attraction of undoubted internationally-soulful appeal; Ray Charles.
The Nipponese have in recent years shown an avid appreciation for many things of Western origin: clothes, baseball, jazz (on one concert the Adderley musicians were joined by local players of startlingly well-developed talents). Considering the proven ability of this band to function at its best in front of an enthusiastic and aware audience, as has been demonstrated on more than one hit album, it would have been quite a waste indeed if this tour had gone by without being preserved on tape. Fortunately, the occasion was not to be wasted. Through the cooperation of Philips Records of Japan, obviously the possessors of equipment and engineering skills fully up to American standards. Sankei Hall became the scene of what is probably the first recording of American jazz artists in that country.
So, in addition to fulfilling the inevitable requests for Work Song and This Here and Jive Samba, the Adderley group was able to set down a half-dozen new additions to their repertoire. Leading off is a brand-new Cannonball piece: full of grits, dedicated to the occasion, and originally given a partly-Japanese title (as noted in the title listings above) which has been translated for local consumption. Also featured is the Adderley brothers’ Tengo Tango – a most effective and strikingly concise performance in the Jive Samba vein. (this number had been cut before the tour for release as a single record, thereby leading to an interesting and probably unique switch. Almost always, when a formidable “blowing” group like this one produces a short take of a tune to fit the physical limitation of a single, they produced to use a much more extended version on the job. But in this case, they were so taken with the original succinct treatment that it has become the only way the sextet offers this intriguingly rhythmic tune.)
There are also two “standards” – or, more accurately, two works by outside composers, for, while many musicians have tackled Cole Porter’s Easy to Love, which serves here as a vehicle for Cannon and drummer Lou Hayes, the other work is something else again. Come Sunday is one section of what Cannonball accurately describes as one of the most ambitious and significant of all jazz compositions, Duke Ellington’s “Black, Brown and Beige” suite. Few, if any, groups would dare this one, but this Joe Zawinul arrangement – which spotlights the pianist and bassist Sam Jones – is a remarkably sensitive and moving success.
The multi-talented Yusef Lateef contributed the other two selections. Brother John, desiccated to John Coltrane, manages not only to evoke the feeling of Trane’s “bag”, but also offers, in Lateef’s fascinating performance on oboe, what cab only be called a brilliant emulation (certainly not an imitation) of Coltrane’s soprano sax work. The Weaver is a mean (in the best sense) blues on which everyone wails mightily.
The Japanese audience is definitely a part of the proceedings, though not in the whooping-and-hollering way that an American crowd might be. Rigorously silent during solos (but not, the musicians point out, with the quiet you get when an audience is not with you and is “sitting on their hands” – you could always feel them out there), they burst forth at the end of a selection in a most dramatic contrast. “And the way they one up for everyone’s autograph after a concert,” Sam Jones informed us, “makes you feel like a movie star.”
Add it all together: the unique setting, exceptional material, and top-of-their-form playing by this spirited and (quite literally) internationally acclaimed sextet. The result, to return to our original thought, is certainly not anything at all for anyone to weep about!
The Adderley band can also be heard on Riverside on –
Jazz Workshop Revisited (444; stereo 9444)
Cannonball Adderley Sextet in New York (404; stereo 9404)
Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Plus (388; stereo 9388)
Cannonball Adderley Quintet at The Lighthouse (344; stereo 9344)
Them Dirty Blues (322; stereo 1170)
Back Door Blues: Eddie Vinson with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet (3502; stereo 93502)
Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco (311; Stereo 1157)
Cannonball is also featured on –
Cannonball’s Bossa Nova (455; stereo 9455)
Know What I Mean? – with Bill Evans (433; stereo 9433)
Cannonball’s Greatest Hits (416; stereo 9416)
African Waltz (377; stereo 9377)
Cannonball and The Poll Winners – with Wes Montgomery, Ray Brown (355; stereo 9355)
Cannonball Takes Charge (303; stereo 1148)
Things Are Getting Better – with Milt Jackson (286; stereo 1128)
NOTE: (1) omit N. Adderley, C. Adderley & L. Hayes
all 13 titles also on M-47029
6 titles of RM(S9)-477 also on VICJ-23652CD
RM(S9)-477 “Nippon Soul”
RM(S9)-477 produced by (A Junat Productions); recording Engineer: no information
SMJ-6130 “Cannonball Adderley live in Tokyo: Autumn Leaves”; mastered by David Turner
Compilations are produced by Orrin Keepnews
A JUNAT PRODUCTION. Recorded in Sankei Hall, Tokyo, Japan, on July 14 & 15, 1963.
Album design: Ken Deardoff, cover art by Tom Dalt.
RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCTIONS, INC.
235 West 46th Street, New York City 36, New York