Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

The Great Cannonball’s “74 Miles Away” album

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74 Miles Away” is a great Cannonball Adderley album and the main reason why is because it was recorded live. All Cannonball albums are Jazz collector items but his live ones are extraordinary. Jazz musicians of this era were very talented and their best way of proving it was to evaluate them in a live setting. Its really the only way to judge a musician, of any genre, how good are they when they play live? I cannot stress it enough, this is a REAL CLASSIC!

About the album:

“Live,” whether used as an adjective or a verb, seems singularly appropriate when it is applied to Julian “Cannonball” Adderley and his Quintet. No jazz group presently active seems to come alive more buoyantly on the bandstand, and no other combo has benefited more fully from the advantages of recording live.

This latest session was a triply happy occasion for the Adderleys, since it marked a family reunion. Julian and Nat had brought their wives to Hollywood. Mr. & Mrs. Adderley Sr. were in town on a visit from Florida, visiting with their sons, and having a ball. Mr. Adderley, who used to be a cornetist, commented after one of Nat’s solos: “You sound almost as good as I used to.” During “I Remember Bird,” he said: “I remember me!” Their radiant pride was an additional incentive to the two sons, as the recording got under way before a hip and responsive crowd.

Cannonball, of course, is the orator supreme among jazz combo leaders. He neither ignores his listeners nor puts them on nor condescends to them; he addresses them as if they were new found friends. It is in this spirit that you hear the session start; after being presented to the audience by KBCA disc jockey Jay Rich, Julian introduces the opening number, “Do Do Do.”

All the way from the opening vamp by Joe Zawinul on electric piano, this Nat Adderley tune has the spirit of the blues, transmuted into 32-bar chorus form. As you might deduce from the subtitle (“What Now Is Next”), this beguilingly basic theme has been equipped with lyrics (by Gail Fisher, the prettiest songwriter in town), and will no doubt be heard as a vocal vehicle in due course, following a pattern established by Miss Fisher’s lyrics for “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!”……Read More

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