Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nat and Julian take Stuttgart

Cannonball Adderley Quintet: Liederhalle Stuttgart, 1969

Julian Cannonball Adderley, alto sax
Nat Adderley, trumpet
Victor Gaskin, bass
Roy McCurdy, drums
Joe Zawinul, piano & keyboards

Listening to the reaction of the crowd in the Liederhalle Stuttgart on March 20, 1969 you can tell that something important is happening.  The musicians are obviously energized by this enthusiasm, and play with urgent inspiration, which of course gets passed back to the audience. From today's vantage point this concert at the end of the 1960s can seem like a kind of coda to a genre that emerged from 1940s dance bands to become a great International Style, the musical counterpart of the New York School of Painting, practiced and appreciated as much in the Liederhalle as on West 52nd Street in New York.

The rises and falls of history only become apparent after the fact, of course, and especially in peak moments like this hour of music one is completely in the moment, blind and deaf to the power of musical entropy that would transform jazz in the 1970s. Pianist Joe Zawinul had spent most of the 60s with Cannonball Adderley, but was only a year away from the creation of Weather Report with Wayne Shorter. Cannonball contributed to the transformation of jazz in the early 70s - he continued to play with both Miles Davis and Bill Evans in this period, but by 1975 he was gone, tragically early. His brother Nat carried on the Adderley tradition for the rest of the century, as a band leader and, increasingly, as a teacher for new generations. But this hour of music remains as a beacon, sending light into the past and the future, as inspiring today as it was for those listening fifty years ago in Stuttgart.

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