Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Addendum to the Foregoing

Another version of Jive Samba. Watch in amazement as Oscar Brown Jr. bandies about the word JAZZ with reckless abandon, and Cannon lays an ice burn on Dave Brubeck (around :32).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cannibal Ate It All

There are times at local jazz clubs, as I sit ensconced in a sea of homely, balding men, that I begin to wonder whether I couldn’t put my interest in jazz to more lucrative employ, perhaps as a sort of male anti-fertility treatment. After all, there are few less effectual methods of ensuring sterility, seclusion and the general enmity of women than jazz. Multiple vasectomies and advanced dementia, you might say. But surely such operations are costly and ineffectual, and the difficulties of self-inducing mental derangement seem to speak for themselves. Consider, on the other hand, that the cover charge at Small’s is only $20, including a drink of your choice and an iron-clad guarantee that your bed will not be shared by another living being (no, not even an animal) for at least a week (this being the bare minimum).

I wonder also whether a bit more light-heartedness and progressivity wouldn’t help to attract new listeners to the tattered remnants of today’s jazz scene, and it is precisely at times like these that my mind wanders to (alcohol. And) figures like Cannonball Adderley.

Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (the name Cannonball was a corruption of a childhood moniker, Cannibal. Because he was fat. Fat people eat a lot. Get it?) was born in Tampa, Florida, in 1928, and grew up studying alto saxophone under his father, a trumpet player and high school music director. Cannonball initially followed in his father’s footsteps, teaching at the Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, but soon found himself in New York, where his innovative brand of soulful playing made him an instant hit among musicians and jazz fans alike. In addition to being a remarkably skilled player, Cannonball was also one of jazz’ most publicly beloved personalities. His hard-grooving, soulful compositions won him many admirers, but just as many were drawn by his amiable, easy-going character—a holdover from his days as a teacher; in fact, many fans attended Cannonball’s live performances simply to hear his charmingly discursive and didactic pre-set rap sessions, like this one, an intro (from a separate recording) to the track following it, Jive Samba.

Though Cannon may be most widely known for his work with Miles Davis’ famous late-fifties sextet (Kind of Blue), the three videos posted here are taken from the early sixties, when Cannon was leading his own sextet, featuring, among others, a young Joe Zawinul (who would later go on to found Weather Report) on piano. The sextet achieved great success for a jazz group, and continued in various iterations (finally as a quintet) up until Cannonball’s death.

Work Song

Cannonball Adderley died in 1975 after suffering a stroke. He was a consummate musician and spokesperson for America’s only original art form, and his loss is still felt today.

Jessica's Birthday

--Chris C