Cannonball Adderley’s “Swingin’ in Seattle”

Released today by Reel to Real Records, Swinging’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse 1966-1967 represents the first release in a long while of previously-unheard (and previously un-bootlegged) Adderley recordings. I had the honor of writing the liner notes for this album. And I’d like to tell you about why I wrote them, and why

Rick Wakeman, Cannonball Adderley, and Me

Today I’m going to indulge in a brief change of pace. I’d like to tell you about a pair of reissues with which I am involved. I won’t be reviewing either title – what would be the point? – but suffice to say that if I didn’t think they are superb albums, I wouldn’t have

Album Review: Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys – Say Yes

From a superficial standpoint, there’s not a huge amount of common stylistic ground between the music of Austin-based Akina Adderley (& the the Vintage Playboys) and Adderley’s grandfather Nat, or with her great uncle Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. But with a peerless musical pedigree such as hers, she can – no, must – be expected at

Album Review: Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans – Know What I Mean?

As I’ve confessed elsewhere on this blog, by most reasonable standards I’m a jazz newbie. Yes, I did buy Weather Report’s Heavy Weather LP when I was in high school. And it’s true that in my early college days I was the recipient of some handed-down Chick Corea jazz improvisation LP (though at the time

Album Review: Reggie Quinerly — New York Nowhere

As a jazz fan, my own particular tastes tend toward music that hits a sweet spot right between old and new. I dig specific jazz forms: bop, post-bop, some fusion and some big band, primarily. All of those substyles have been with us for some years now, so new music in those categories also need

Album Review: Sonny Rollins – Rollins in Holland

There are people out there doing important archival work. Dedicated music lovers like Zev Feldman connect with archivists, collectors, fans and like-minded individuals across the globe, seeking to unearth previously-unheard recordings by some of the most important figure in jazz. And every so often, we hear these stories of unmarked boxes on dusty shelves, found

Album Review: Chicago Soul Jazz Collective – It Takes a Spark to Start a Fire

On their first recording, the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective tackled a collection of familiar genre standards, and the results were impressive. For their newest release, however, the group applies its skills to seven original tunes, all from the pen of tenor saxophonist John Fournier. Among the defining characteristics of the soul jazz subgenre are strong,

Album Review: The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band — Message from Groove and GW

Situating a Hammond organ out in front of a big band is a splendid idea; the verve and energy of the keys plays off well against the muscular, thrilling backdrop of a massive instrumental aggregation. Organist Radam Schwartz plays that organ, and writes most of the tunes on Message from Groove and GW. Using an

Album Review: Mrs. Fun — Truth

I tend to look with skepticism at guitar-drum duos; for me, it’s been done to death, and few did it with as much creative success as Flat Duo Jets. But when it comes to keyboard-drum duos, I’m prepared to allow a bit more latitude, because the sonic possibilities of keys are more varied and expansive.

Album Review: The Tnek Jazz Quintet Plays the Music of Sam Jones

Bassist Sam Jones was an important figure in hard bop and soul jazz of the 1950s and beyond. Alternatively known as “Cannon’s Theme,” his composition “Unit 7” was a showcase number for Adderley’s Quintet. Jones played with Adderley during the latter’s peak period (roughly 1957-’65, and again near the end of Adderley’s time on Earth).