Recent listening, current

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

45. Cannonball Adderley / Somethin' Else (1958)

I listen to this at least once a month, an album that is still fresh so many years after it was made, and a bona fide classic by many accounts. Like Kind of Blue, if I had to, I could hum the whole thing from memory. Their flavors are similar in more ways than one, yet the two records aren't really anything alike. But here it certainly feels like Miles is the leader. The patient tempos, arrangement style, and selections all speak to Davis' direction. He even takes the first choruses. The drum chair is Art Blakey this time, with Hank Jones on piano and Sam on bass. Like Kind of Blue, when Davis goes first, it gives Adderley some lines to think about, propelling him into new areas. Davis' own choruses are a mixture of pensive statements through the mute, or beautifully full-bodied open horn. Listen to Davis and Adderley trading licks on brother Nat's "Blues for Daddy-O," the smokey noir of "Autumn Leaves" or doing call and response on the Davis penned title track. Art Blakey was the perfect choice as drummer, and assertively swings the procession with his snare and hi hat, while Hank and Sam work closely tying up the other end. The mood of "Autumn Leaves" is largely created by the good work of Hank Jones, which never seems to end. Together these songs are a remarkable synthesis of talent and chemistry that's one of the best enduring works of jazz.

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