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    The Cannonball Adderley Quintet - The Happy People

    Artist: The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
    Title: The Happy People
    Year Of Release: 2013 / 1972
    Label: Capitol Records
    Genre: Jazz
    Quality: FLAC (tracks)
    Total Time: 40:36 min
    Total Size: 251 MB


    1. The Happy People (11:29)
    2. Maria Tres Filhos (10:24)
    3. Savior (14:36)
    4. ELA (4:09)

    Of all the dates Cannonball Adderley cut with producer David Axelrod for Capitol, this 1972 set is the most unusual. Featuring three long jams and a short tune, this session is the sextet with Nat Adderley on cornet, Roy McCurdy on drums, George Duke playing acoustic piano and Rhodes, Walter Booker on bass, and Airto Moreira on percussion, with guests Flora Purim on vocals, guitarist David T. Walker, and percussionist King Errison. Bassist Chuck Rainey and vocal soloist Olga James help out on "Savior." This set was released just after Cannonball Adderley Quintet & Orchestra, but the vibe is completely different. Rather than focusing on hard bop, soul-jazz, or free bop jazz styles, Adderley concentrates most of his band's energy on Brazilian grooves in three of these four tunes. Played in front of a live (studio) audience, the vibe is celebratory, loose, raw, and inspired. From the opening moments of the title track, this group takes chances. The leader concentrates mostly on alto here, but he doesn't abandon soprano entirely. The vibe underneath the percolating Brazilian rhythms is defined and raucous. Purim's and Airto's singing is limited to a few of the tune's 11-plus minutes, but is rapturous. The reading of Milton Nascimento's "Maria Tres Filhos" is primo Brazilian jazz-funk; it offers fine solos in tandem by Cannonball, Nat, and Walker (maybe his best on record), with killer wah-wah piano by Duke atop the layers of percussion. Purim is at her improvisational finest near the end. Using a variation of the vamp from Miles Davis' "So What" (on which Cannonball originally played) as the tune's body, James delivers a vocal that weds modern classical and jazz. The horns begin to wind things out and Duke's spacy piano underscores them in a modal groove. By the time the tune concludes, it's in a very different place than where it began. Final number "ELA," written by Benito Di Paula, is based on layers of rhythm from drums and an astonishing array of percussion instruments, and tough acoustic piano. Purim's voice on the chorus is joyous, in contrast to Airto's more restrained yet breezy soulful lead vocal. At a shade over four minutes, it goes by in a blip to end this set. The Happy People is one of Adderley's most under-recognized offerings, but not because of quality. It stands out not only from his own catalog in its bracing, ambitious world-view, but from the wide swath of jazz fusion from the period. Its seamless integration of Brazil's rainbow of sounds with jazz and funk is visionary; it sounds as fresh in the 21st century as when it appeared. -- Thom Jurek

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