About Julian
About Site

Since Dec,01,1998

©1998 By barybary



"cover maxi 45 rpm "


A serious question - what does the word 'art' mean to you? Is it a nice painting. of a vase of flowers, a lump of granite chopped to specification, a pile of bricks that looks like... a pile of bricks or a lesson at school where you called a teacher in sandals by his first name and had a crafty fag?
Well, of course it can be all of these things and a whole lot more and just as the way art has become a blanket word for lots of different things united for a common cause, so jazz is now a prefix or byword for a variety of musical forms.
So just as art is not the Mona Lisa, so jazz is not simply, say, Count Basie - there really is a whole lot more than that to it.
Now this of course is not a notion that came to me in one magical 'eurekan' moment; it's the sort of thing that should go without saying but is still, nevertheless, worth reiterating on the odd occasion, would you not agree?
After all, you can never have too much of a good think!
So how does now feel like for a bit of grey matt er-of-facting? After all, are not the eighties the years in which jazz realised it's roots and adapted and recreated them to fit the medium. That period when all the bits - the musical vases of flowers, lumps of granite, piles of bricks and peep-toed 'nigels' - all sort of come together and define the true meaning of the word?
Well, no it isn't actually and here is one of the recordings to prove it!
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and brother Nat were jazz musicians who were never frightened to play around with their music and test it's elasticality. And indeed it was musicians like Cannonball and Nat who proved there was no limit to how far it could be manipulated by new innovations and rediscovered roots.
"Cannonball" may be a corruption of 'cannibal' because of julian's healthy appetite, but that could just as easily apply to Adderley's ravenous desire for new ideas. Even in those early days in the mid-fifties, Adderley was not only considered perhaps the finest living altoist but also one of jazz's greatest innovators and throughout his recording career spanning two decades, he never failed to surprise and excite.
It was Adderley who, in 1962, cut a latin jazz album - "Cannonball's Bossa Nova" on Riverside - utilising not only a whole new batch of rhythms but also a group of musicians (Sergio Mendes, Dom Um Romao, Octavio Bailly Jnr. and the like) indigenous to the music: a first.
And so it was Adderley in 1968 who - in the shape of a one-off break from his most successful period as the personification of the 'soul jazz' of his Capitol years - once again played his roots and incorporated the sounds and rhythms of Africa into his music.
Indeed, African music itself is a much maligned term as there is in effect no such thing - it is a name that acts like a clearing house for the many different instruments, rhythms, meanings and styles prevalant throughout the African countries.
It then takes the likes of the Adderley brothers to unite them in one vibrant, exciting and brilliantly played collection of songs and in the process introduce a whole new facet to that whole jazz 'thang'...



Side one

Ndolima - A strangely layered, lilting piece of music that cushions itself on a powerful African percussive base and is topped off with a full brass sound straight from an epic' film score.
Inbetween, Nat blows an acutely controlled melody line and Cannonball simply enjoys himself.
The word 'Ndolima' means ploughing time in the community.
Hamba' Nami - the word is Zulu for "Walk With Me" but the very beat almost Stax-style tempo echoes more a stroll down the Kings Road than across a field of elephant grass.
An outing that once again has a full compliment of brass this time handling much of the melody while the brothers chip in with low key muted runs
Khutsana - a powerful, crescendoing piece that once again utilises all the tools to hand with much aplomb. Starting off with a slow movement, Cannonball is faithful to the attractive tune, but when the percussion swings seriously into action and,the brass really sings, Adderley lets his hair down.
'Khutsana' is a Sesotho word meaning 'orphan'.
Up And At It - The tune is a Wes Montgomery original and a little out of context with the rest of the recording but it's strict dance tempo, gospelly vocal chorus and some of Nat's best blowing more thah covers the crack.

Side two

Gumba Gumba - is a Pan-African expression meaning party or all night session and the mo~od of the piece more than suits the sentiment. Strictly in that RnB groove prevalent in the: rhid-sixties, this a boisterous, strictly-for-dancers slab of good time music with a whistle-inducing melody struck up by the band and joytul soloing from the Adderleys.
Marabi - Hi life is perhaps the most eclectic African music form of them all, and this piece dedicated to one of it's dances rings echoes of both South America and the Caribbean.
Built on some real salsa bongo-mg (one repeating a dead catchy 'boom, boom, boom' and the other going sixteen to the dozen) and licking along at an almost calypso pace, this is for me the highlight of the album with it's joyous tune and Cannonball bendinghis back with fun and vigour.
Gunjah - has, as the name may suggest not a little to do with certain herbal substances and Cannonball has no trouble capturing the right image with this swirling, mesmeric number in which he perhaps gives us his sharpest, most powerful solos.
Lehadima - this Sesotho word for lightning could not be more appropriate as the pace is that and a bit more.
Utilising that irresistable combination of bop and bongos, this piece is essentially straight jazz combo interplay laced with fast latin percussion and playing made to dance to.


On "Gunjah" and "Lehadima," the Selmer Soprano Saxophone.
On "Ndolima" and "Khutsana," the S.M.L. Soprano Saxophone.
On "Gu mba Gumba" and Hamba Nami," the Selmer Varitone.
On"Khutsana" and "Marabi" and "up and At It," the King Super 20 Alto Saxophone.
Nat Adderley appears through the courtesy of A & M Records