Cannonball Adderley: Spontaneous Combustion

Regardless of its conventionalism, Cannonball Adderley's "Spontaneous Combustion" is a treble-toned display of his early confidence. As he sounds rather youthful, the fact that the basic blues pattern underneath is kept in check allows him the space to blow notes wherever and whenever he feels he should. The freedom of approach shows that his skills as a bandleader and player were already finely attuned at the outset of his career; his lead playing blazes a trail that is audibly tough for the other soloists on the bandstand to follow. The force with which his sax tears through the mix is the aural equivalent of spontaneous combustion, and later recordings would leave this kind of power behind for a more refined approach that helped him achieve commercial recognition later on. Adderley was part-trailblazer, part-showman, and the explosive duality never ceases to amaze.

April 16, 2009 · 0 comments


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