Cannonball Adderley: Chasm
Cannonball Adderley (alto sax)
Spontaneous Combustion: The Explosive Cannonball Adderley (Savoy Jazz 17588)
Recorded: New York, New York, July 15, 1955
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Chasms are defined as wide open spaces, but Cannonball Adderley's "Chasm" is filled with vibrancy and sound. The tune is basically a sax duel between Adderley and Jerome Richardson, and while Richardson's turn on tenor showcases his sweeping, stop-on-a-dime style, phenomenal is the transition between the two saxmen. Richardson's playing is no slouch, and those unfamiliar with the differences in tone between alto and tenor saxophones might not immediately notice that, at 2:14, the two horn players switch off. However, the higher pitch of Adderley's alto sax is the tip-off, and he pushes towards the end with forward momentum that leads the track into a speedier, more swinging direction.
The irony is that the track is dedicated to the spirit of an abyss; the players are not left with much breathing room because of the manic energy, and, as a result, the cut does not sound like the most serious in the Cannonball catalog. This is not a detriment, though; the tune exudes a light sense of humor and sarcasm due to the overall looseness of approach. Such dedication to spontaneity is sometimes the key to understanding what the merit of jazz music is in the first place.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary