Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tom Scott and Special Guests - Cannon Re-Loaded: An All-Star Celebration Of Cannonball Adderley (Concord, 2007)

An ad-hoc gathering of musicians come together to pay tribute to the great saxophonist and composer Julian "Cannonball" Adderley in a disc that never reaches its full potential. The music presented here is split between radio friendly shiny and heavily produced R&B, and smooth jazz ballads aimed more for what remains of the jazz radio and adult contemporary market rather than a heartfelt re-examination of Cannonball's music. There is nothing egregiously "wrong" with the music here, it is in fact played with complete professionalism, but it is a triumph of craft over spirit and product over art. The music is played well but is shorn of any emotional commitment. The instrumental passages are pleasant, but never develop the music much more than a cursory examination of the melody. Cannonball's most R&B oriented compositions seem to inspire the group the most with "Sack of Woe" and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" Nancy Wilson is in fine voice, but her two features, "The Masquerade is Over" and "Save Your Love for Me" are wasted with too smooth accompaniment that quickly becomes maudlin. Overall, this is a missed opportunity. Adderley's music was an inspiration to musicians and fans alike over the years, and a thoughtful re-examination of his work would be welcome. Unfortunately, that is not to be found here, and unless you are a fan of "mild" jazz, this is one to safely pass by.

Send comments to: Tim