"Essentially, this is the Cannonball Adderley Quintet as the house band for a Jesse Jackson revival meeting in Fall 1969. The Reverend Jesse begins the program exhorting the congregation to 'Walk Tall,' and the band launches into a set of its brand of soul-jazz dominated by Joe Zawinul's riffing on electric piano. Cannon does some preaching of his own now and then, and the audience shouts approval with every applause line and musical cue.If it bothers you to hear the audience intrude into the music on a recording, consider yourself warned. Still, the music on the first side is full of spirit and a lot of fun. The second side is dominated by a four-part "Afro-Spanish Omelette" that is supposed to represent the breadth of Black Music or something, but really it's just an individual showcase for each member of the band (except the drummer). The pieces don't hang together very well as a thematic suite, and someplace around where the trumpet feature meets the bass solo, some of the momentum from the first half of the show gets lost.Tying together gospel-soul music, Sketches of Spain, and the '60s avant-garde is just a bit beyond the powers of this band. But it's OK. If you are looking for some more advanced, adventurous jazz content, try some of Cannonball's earlier work (like from '58-63). However, as an expression of instrumental soul music in the spirit of Ray Charles, this is hard to beat."
A Great Start
Michael St John | 06/15/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first purchase of Cannonball Adderley that I have ever made. A true delight; especially when listening to the entire CD at once. It's wonderfully put together and flows so nicely between one song to the next. You get the feeling that you are actually at the concert. I first heard Cannonball and Nat on Temple University Public Radio and fell in love with the duo's sound immeadiately. This album provides an excelent sampling of the two's talent and great sound. Though, I would have liked it if they had made the seperate parts of "Afro-Spanish Omlet" different tracks, and it's not as good to listen to individual tracks (it's better if your listening to the entire thing at once), I am still glad I purchased it and would give it 4 & 1/2 stars, but that's not a choice."
Not bad as a slice of history
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 05/28/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is quite interesting largely for historical reasons. The (very) young Jesse Jackson used to host Saturday morning events in Chicago that were filled with music, his oratory, special guests and civil rights discussions. Cannonball Adderly played at one such event in 1969 and that's what this CD captures.Things begin with some uplifting early Jesse preaching and we get into some soulful jazz with the Adderly crew. This version of "Walk Tall" is a bit faster than the version most jazz fans are familiar with, but it fits the mood of people in the ghettoes getting together to make meaningful change. Joe's moody "Country Preacher" touches the spirits of the crowd, who responds with enthusiasm. "Humming" and "Oh Babe" (where the Adderly crew do a takeoff on a Flip Wilson Comedy routine that may escape modern listeners) are just ok.After this, the band gets off into some avant-garde stuff that has it's moments, but would only appeal to hardcore fans of this genre, unlike Adderly's more popular and accessible soulful style of jazz. I agree that for the CD, this should have been placed on seperate tracks.Overall, it's a good time capsule of an interesting time in American history, and the first half of it (at least) is very entertaining). BTW-This original LP had a first cousin in the form of a gospel/soul/jazz album from 1968 called "The Last Request" by Ben Branch and the Breadbasket Orchestra and Choir (who also performed at the young Jesse Jackson's early rallies). Now THAT really needs to be on CD too!"
This album is way better than those other reviews say
Michael St John | 10/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"IF YOU LIKE CANNONBALL THEN YOULL LIKE THIS DISC. SIMPLE. THE TIME, THE PLACE, THE CROWD, THE PREACHIN, THATS JUST AS MUCH A PART OF THE MUSIC AS THE INSTRUMENTS. CANNONBALL DOESNT SEPARATE MUSIC FROM THE PEOPLE AND FROM CULTURE. MUSIC USED TO BE ABOUT COMMUNITY AND CULTURE. I THINK ONE OF THE NICE PARTS OF THIS DISC IS THE FEELING YOU GET OF THE EXPERIENCE. THE MUSIC ON ITS OWN IS GREAT TOO. CANNONBALL IS SOUL AND IF YOU WANT SOME, CHECK THIS."