There’s only one saxophone player whom I have dug more than John Coltrane. It’s alto saxophone player Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley. In sound, attitude and expression, he is simply unique.
I was turned on by the meeting between jazz and rhythm’n’blues/soul and want became souljazz. I was turned on by his unique collaboration with his brother and trumpet player Nat Adderley, which is an important headline in the story about Cannonball. I was turned on by those sidemen he collaborated with, especially Joe Zawinul.
I could go on like this.
It’s Jesper Lundgaard who has provided with me the opportunity to tell about my enthusiasm for Cannonball. Lundgaard has recorded a tribute album to the jazz giant.
Previous Lundgaard has released tribute albums to Jimmy Giuffre, Cornelis Vreeswijk and in 2005 it was themes from movies.
Once again Lundgaard is with Niclas Knudsen, guitar and Hans Ulrik, saxophone. They approach the material with both originality and respect.
One of my great Cannonball-favorites is Walk Tall. Niclas Knudsen opens the tune with acoustic guitar where the original uses electric piano. Hans Ulrik adds a cry on his saxophone which is the spiritual mood of the original worthy.
Of course it’s not fair to Bobby Timmons to credit Cannonball for the souljazz-classic This Here, as it’s done on the cover. Cannonball made the melody famous but it was his piano player who wrote it.
Four of the eleven tracks are written by members of the trio. They hit the Cannonball-nerve very well.
They do classics: Stars Fell on Alabama, Nippon Soul and Sack O Woe. A nice ending for an intimate and well played celebration of one of the biggest alto saxophone player in history (yeah, yeah, I know Parker is the greatest – but I’m a bigger fan of Cannonball).
Jesper Lundgaard is playing aggressive and delicately raw on his bass. He knows when to step forward and when to retreat.
Niclas Knudsen is playing both electric and acoustic guitar – together with Hans Ulrik he is creating the right mood.
Oh, and I have to mention that nobody uses the bow on a bass better than Jesper Lundgaard. Listen to This Here and Sack O Woe.
Review: Niels Overgård. Translation: DSI Swinging Europe.