Friday, February 10, 2006

Cannonball Adderley's Phenix

I bought Phenix while in Texas (TCM having been exhausted), having liked some of the funk jazz stuff that I had heard by Adderley and curious for more. I'd always found Cannonball Adderley's solo material hard to come by in local record stores, so I picked Phenix up when I saw it, estimating that 1975 would've been around the right period to check Adderley out.

Adderley's a hard guy to place. He's generally a bit too traditional jazz-ish to be amongst the more funky of the soul jazz guys, but he's quite obviously more concerned with composition over improvisation than the more straightahead jazz guys. That's not to say the man is a slouch in either way, but merely to say that Adderley rides the fence quite comfortably.

That said, Phenix isn't remotely heavy with the funk, and at times seems alot like lite jazz. Save for George Duke's organ playing and Airto Moreira, well, being Airto Moreira (ie. one of the best latin jazz percussionists in history)(check out Airto's "Samba de Flora"), there's not a lot of umph here, which is understandable as Phenix was supposed to serve as a career 're-visit,' a re-recording of older Adderley material recorded a little before his death. There's still a lot to appreciate here, but until they start making some of the other Adderley releases more readily available, this one will probably sit on the shelves for a few more years.

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