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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley - Inside Straight

Fantasy Records FT 517 (UK), released by Fantasy USA as F-9435, in 1973

This is one of the best of the late period "Cannonball" Adderley albums, and like the best of the early Riversides and later Capitols, it's a 'live' recording, done at Fantasy's Berkeley California studios, in front of an invited audience, in June 1973. 

Holdovers from earlier incarnations of this wonderful group include brother Nat Adderley, cornet, Walter Booker, bass, Roy McCurdy, drums, and recent addition Hal Galper, playing electric piano, and the composer of three of the selections here, "Inner Journey", "Snakin' The Grass", and "Second Son".  Nat and Julian wrote the title track, "Inside Straight", Nat contributes "Five Of A Kind", and everyone just swings their butts off! 

Freddie Hubbard - Super Blue

CBS 82866 (UK), (from Columbia JC 35386 USA), released in 1978

Freddie Hubbard is heard here, playing four of his own compositions ("To Her Ladyship", "Take It To The Ozone", "The Gospel Truth", and "Theme For Kareem" (dedicated to Kareem Al Jabbar, the world famous basketball player), as well as "Superblue", the title track composed by B. Ighner, and Gino Vanelli's "The Surest Things Can Change". Critics have tended to dismiss Hubbard's Columbia recorded output as light-weight "fusion", but this is a solid effort, and the material is first-rate. He is joined on this wonderful album by Hubert Laws, flute, Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone, Ron Carter, bass, Kenny Barron, piano, and Jack DeJohnette, drums. Producer Dale Oehler plays additional keyboards on "Super Blue", and the great George Benson guests on and plays the guitar solo on "To Her Ladyship". (I had the pleasure of hearing the Hubbard band at the 1978 Middlesborough Jazz Festival, when many of these tracks were played live, and Larry Klein, later Joni Mitchell's husband, played bass.)