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  • Julien Fraipont

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet - At The Lighthouse



Hello, foolish jazz lovers. How are we doing today?


Fine, I hope. For Tuesday's album, I've chosen a live date and the quintet that you are about to listen to is one of the greatest and one of the biggest «heavy swinger» whoever exists. This record is a strong introduction to the music of this classic hard bop group.

I'm talking about The Cannonball Adderley Quintet and his Live At Lighthouse.

This live album was recorded on October 16, 1960, at the Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach, California. The Quintet features Nat Adderley (cor), Cannonball Adderley (as), Victor Feldman (p), Sam Jones (b), and Louis Hayes (d).


The album begins with a funky soul original of Cannonball Adderley called Sack O'Woe. The tune is based on the rhythm used for dancing. It is the perfect example of the influence of the hard bop, funk, soul, gospel. And it is exactly what funky means at that time, nothing to compare with now.


We continue with an original of the tenor sax Jimmy Heath written for his brother Percy Heath (double bass player) called Big P. Beautiful composition. This minor blues has an elegant, bright, and energetic melody. The up-tempo lift, even more, this tune.


The first side of this album finish with an exquisite little waltz, Frank Rosolino's Blue Daniel. A perfect tune to rest a bit before the second part. I love how Cannonball flies over the all band during his solo and how he passes the ball to his brother. The first note of Nat's solo is just perfect.


Azule Serape is the title of the next tune, a Vic Feldman original. The Latin A-part drives us everywhere except on this B part. I don't mean it as a default, exactly the opposite. I love it when I get surprised like this. And man, what a beautiful B part melody.


Exodus is another composition of Feldman. I have nothing else to say that I love his composition. An exotic feel balance with a hard-swinging hard bop part. Both strong part and melody. Smart combination.


The album continues with a delectable version of Cole Porter's What Is This Thing Called Love. What a nice arrangement with this pedal point for the A's. They built a tension that needs to be released to a breathtaking swing screaming inside all of them. Brilliant.


Finally, we have the pleasure to listen to a great version of Tadd Dameron original's Our Delight.

I've heard this piece for the first time on Dizzy Gillespie's Groovin' High ('46 album). They kept the same arrangement as the original but increase quite a bit the tempo! This is one more proof if it was only needed, of the virtuosity of every member of the quintet and why this is just essential in every jazz collection. I love how Cannonball Adderley "shoot" his solo. It is really, and sorry for the bad joke, killing. A beautiful "tribute" to the period when this tune had been written.


This live album is a pure delight. It is exactly what I love in this music. Beautiful originals, great arrangements, amazing musicians devoted to music.

You can listen separately to the different parts of the quintet. The rhythm section for example, how they make straight-ahead jazz swing like hell and how the Adderley brothers arise on this strong background. How the two blower's voices merge perfectly. It is an amazing session and a perfect introduction to their music.

Hardly recommend.

Have fun listening!

Go to listen to!


I'll see you soon for another great hard bop moment.


Greetings and Long Live Cannonball Adderley Quintet!



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