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Cannonball Plays Zawinul

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Album Review

Cannonball Plays Zawinul represents the exquisite fruits of the musical relationship between saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and pianist/composer Joe Zawinul. Recorded between 1961 and 1971, all cuts were either written or co-written by Zawinul, and, except for one piece ("Dr. Honorus Causa"), he also serves as part of the various combos. All of the work here remains loose but nonetheless retains a sparkling intensity. The longer cuts, in particular, show a group of musicians searching out the free parameters of post-bop without ever drifting off into space. Both "74 Miles Away" and "Money in the Pocket," 14 and ten minutes respectively, maintain strong central themes, filled with rhythm and melody, while allowing Adderley, Zawinul, drummer Roy McCurdy, bassist Victor Gaskin, and cornetist Nat Adderley lots of elasticity to develop their ideas. While most of these pieces were recorded in the mid-'60s and provide the album with a certain unity, a wide aesthetic gap exists between 1961's straightforward "One Man's Dream" and 1971's adventurous "Dr. Honorus Causa." So in one way, Cannonball Plays Zawinul provides a portrait of two artists who kept reaching beyond the obvious to find their muse. The album is an adventurous and thrilling document, sure to please fans of both players and anyone who enjoys challenging post-bop. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi


Born: September 15, 1928 in Tampa, FL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

One of the great alto saxophonists, Cannonball Adderley had an exuberant and happy sound that communicated immediately to listeners. His intelligent presentation of his music (often explaining what he and his musicians were going to play) helped make him one of the most popular of all jazzmen. Adderley already had an established career as a high school band director in Florida when, during a 1955 visit to New York, he was persuaded to sit in with Oscar Pettiford's group at the Cafe Bohemia. His...
Full Bio
Cannonball Plays Zawinul, Cannonball Adderley
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop, Bop
  • Released: Apr 20, 2004

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