Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cannonball Legacy Band Honor's Sax Great's Legacy

The following review was written for Jazz & Blues Report in October 2006 and appeared in the January -February 2007 issue (# 290).

Its been sometime since Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderly passed away and a few since his brother Nat passed away. Louis Hayes, drummer for Adderly forty years ago has been leading a tribute band to the legendary saxophonist and the terrific band Hayes was such a part of. This writer had the pleasure to catch Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Legacy Band at the 2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and enjoyed their set that brought to life some of the classics the Adderly Brothers were remembered for. Savant has just issued Maximum Firepower from Hayes and the Cannonball Legacy Band that showcases there fine music. In addition to Hayes, the Legacy Band includes Vincent Herring on alto sax, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn, and Richard Goods on bass. Anthony Wonsey and Rick Germanson hare the piano chair.

This is a nice overview of the Adderly Brothers’ repertoire although it omits a couple of the best known songs (Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Work Song). There is a pretty varied group of writers represented here including Quincy Jones (Jessica’s Birthday), Bobby Timmons (This Here), Nat Adderly (Little Boy With the Sad Eyes), Charles Lloyd (Sweet Georgia Bright), Victor Feldman (New Delhi), Cannonball (Sack ‘o Woe), and Sam Jones (Unit 7) with one original from Jeremy Pelt (The Two of Them), and the performances are consistently focused and strong. Herring and Pelt play strong heads as well as solos (check out the beginning of This Here), and the band plays this strong hard bop set with plenty of heat and swing. Hayes himself remains a wonderful drummer near five decades later and the Rudy Van Gelder recording wonderfully captures his playing as well as the entire group. This is a marvelous set which will appeal to the same sort of gritty hard bop that the Adderly’s provided decades ago.

For FTC regulations, I received this to review from the publication this review originally appeared in.

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