149. Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago (1959)
Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago (aka Cannonball & Coltrane on Limelight LS 86009) is a splendid disc from the core band that recorded Kind of Blue. "Limehouse Blues" stands ragtime roots on their head in the attitude of hard bop. A sparring match between alto and tenor proceeds at breathtaking pace until the tune reels in for a final, punctual tutti on the main theme. "Stars Fell on Alabama" is next and features very sensitive embellishments from Adderley. Kelly goes next, tinkling single notes into the dusty register. As saxes go, it's a pleasure to hear the two styles in opposition. Adderley and Coltrane ride atop the rhythmic swell and strike the bar at will. But the two players are not very similar. Contrast their rhythmic interpretations of "Wabash," or technique in "Grand Central," which crackles with Trane's rhythmic inventions in fast triplets. The ballad "You're a Weaver of Dreams" is handed to Coltrane, and Kelly strolls through some jaunty figures that recall the old school with aplomb. On each track, whether it's Adderley busting open the guts of the melody and improvising endlessly thoughtful variations on its theme, or Coltrane boldly probing the rhythmic and harmonic architecture, there's always something to hang an ear on. This disc is a fine compliment to Kind of Blue, Somethin' Else, and At Newport 1958.