ELOQUENT is the Word for Julian
Adderley, and it may be applied With equal accuracy to two areas of his public personality.
Eloquent, according to Webster, mean "'expressing oneself
with moving force and fluency" or "vividly or movingly
expressive or revealing." There may well be a relationship
between Cannon's verbal eloquence and the fluency with which he
expresses himself through the saxophone. In any event, both sides
of him are characteristically in evidence here.
As has become customary in the
group, a broad spectrum is covered, from the roots-conscious
simplicity of Nat Adderley's "Sweet Emma" to the
oblique abstractions of Joe Zawinul's
The latter offers a characteristic
example of the combo in its modal, modern bag, building and
sustaining a mood in a long and continuously vital
interpretation. Not the least of its virtues is the superbly
spirited undercurrent supplied by Roy Mc Curdy's drums.
Cannonball's ebullient alto solo evolves into a series of
explorations with the varitone octave divider. Nat Adderley takes
over next. After examining the normal capabilities of the cornet
he moves down into the strange lower register variations that
provided one of the more remarkable features in the title
performance in their last "live" album, "74
Miles Away" (Capitol ST-2822). Zawinul jumps in and out
of a whole market-basket-full of bags. Starting out with sturdy
bass support from Vic Gaskin, he proceeds to an unaccompanied
passage that moves unpredictably from pure classicism to avant
garde freedom. By the time the ensemble takes over around the ten
minute mark, the rollercoaster excitement of this stupendous
series of solos makes one regret the arrival of the closing
The next two tracks are remarkable
for their genuine spontaneity. Neither Lou Rawls nor Nancy Wilson
had been set to take part in the session. When Lou called
producer Dave Axelrod and proudly announced the birth of a
daughter, Axelrod asked him to drop over to the session to
celebrate. When he arrived, word of his presence soon spread
through the audience and, naturally, there were calls for his
participation. Cannon brought him into the proceedings with the
comment: "I wonder if we can do some blues with Lou?"
"I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water," originally recorded by
Rawls on his date with Les McCann (Capitol ST-1714) has a loose
and happy feeling, exhibiting him in a groove that can never go
wrong - the traditional 12-bar blues form.
Similarly Nancy Wilson, spotted in
the crowd, was added to the proceedings on the spur of the
moment. This was a nostalgic reunion, for it was Cannon who
discovered Nancy in 1959. "Save Your Love For Me," the
old Buddy Johnson tune, was the first track on an album they had
recorded jointly (Capitol ST-1657) seven years ago.
The side concludes with the band's
familiar theme, "The Scene," with Julian thanking the
audience and Nat leading the band out.
poignant Leonard Bernstein ballad, has long been heard as a
representation of Julian's melodic side. There are touches of
Benny Carter in his sound when he plays at this tempo and in this
("Written during the garbage strike," Cannon explains)
features Julian's soprano saxophone. He was a late arrival in the
ranks of those who would rather switch than fight against the
upward trend in saxophone sounds, but once he made the jump, it
was accomplished with an assurance and musicianship typical of
As anyone will guess who has
visited the French Quarter in New Orleans, "Sweet Emma"
is a tribute to Emma Barrett, the veteran pianist whose history
goes back to the Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra, and who has
remained active with the revivalist bands. The old-timey changes
and the charmingly simple style of the solos by Nat and Joe
indicate that they are not too completely caught up in today's
happenings to be unaware of what goes on in Preservation Hall.
This side concludes with a relaxed
and soulful performance of "Zorba"' (Life Is), a song
from the Broadway Musical "Zorba," with the leader
again featured on soprano.
In the notes for the "74
Miles Away" album I commented that the session was a sort of
family reunion, since Nat's and Joe's wives and parents were
present. In another sense, the present album is a family
gathering too; an exercise in mutual friendship, love and musical
empathy between the leader, the sidemen and his guest stars. As
the results testify, they too turn out to constitute a happy