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Walk Tall: Tribute to Cannonball Adderley

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Album Review

Considered one of the greatest alto saxophonists in jazz history, the late Julian "Cannonball" Adderley was known for his exuberant and happy soul-jazz sound in an era (late '50s, '60s) when most players took a more studied, serious approach; his legend grew from the immediate personal way he communicated with his listeners. Citing Cannonball as one of his chief influences, Eric Marienthal has in many ways carried on that great tradition, inspiring the passion of smooth jazz listeners with a style that incorporates seductive, funky R&B, melodic pop, and the improvisational elements of jazz. Walk Tall is a brilliantly realized tribute to his musical idol featuring fresh renditions of seven tunes popularized by Cannonball, and new pieces inspired by Adderley's rich legacy. Among the better Cannonball tunes here are Marienthal's shuffling, hip-hop take on "Work Song," featuring Chris Botti's gentle trumpet harmony; the bluesy, retro-soul flavored title track; a haunting and elegant "Skylark"; and a brisk, quintet arrangement of "The Way You Look Tonight." He also does a seductive version of Cannonball's trademark, "Mercy Mercy Mercy," the Joe Zawinul piece that scored on the pop charts in 1967. Marienthal's originals prove to be some of his finest to date, including the coolly rhythmic "Imagine That" and the funky and soulful "Groove Runner." Contributions by pianists Rob Mullins and Russell Ferrante are also welcome additions.

Customer Reviews

Cannonball is rolling in his grave

Nice try Eric, but you missed the point...

Eric Marienthal...Amazing

If anyone could pull this off it was Eric Marienthal. It's one thing to do a straight tribute to a Jazz icon note for note, it is totally another to take a firm foundation and build something that, while paying its respects to the past, paves a new path towards the future appreciation of good Jazz. All great artists relay towards the future while leaving their unique prints on the baton. Great work Eric!


Born: December 13, 1957 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Eric Marienthal shows listeners that he plays crossover jazz as well being a capable and creative improviser. Marienthal attended the Berklee College of Music for two years, and earned a Berklee Distinguished Alumnus Award for outstanding achievements in contemporary music. Following his departure from Berklee, he went on tour for seven months and played live in New Orleans for just under five years as a member of Al Hirt's band. Marienthal moved to Los Angeles in 1980 after his tenure with Hirt,...
Full Bio
Walk Tall: Tribute to Cannonball Adderley, Eric Marienthal
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