Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vintage Vinyl #4 - Down to "The Club"

“You know, sometimes we’re not prepared… for adversity.  When it happens, sometimes we’re caught short.  We don’t know exactly how to handle it… when it comes up.  Sometimes we don’t know… just what to do, when adversity takes over.  And I have advice for all of us; I got it from my pianist, Joe Zawinul, who wrote this tune.  And it sounds like what you’re supposed to say, when you have that kind of problem.

"It’s called Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!”

Capitol Records Hollywood recording studio was turned into a nightclub with free flowing drinks for the invited audience present for the album’s performance. In replicating the intended jazz club atmosphere, the requisite hooting, hollering, and drunken applause was left intact on the live recording.  The album feels both organic and authentic through the inclusion of the listener themselves in the center of this audience, enjoying a show with a band at the top of their game. 

Featuring compositions by bandleader Cannonball Adderley, cornetist Nat Adderley, and pianist Zawinul, the album runs the gamut from laid back soul jazz to a hotter, almost bebop sound.  The entire band gets showcased on Sticks while the title track proves to be a slower burn.  A series of slow crescendos, each slightly greater than the last, builds from a basic motif on rhythm and piano to the big finish with the brass section joining in on the melody.  The sprawling horn feature “Sack o’ Woe” ends the album (and the night) highlighting Nat Adderley’s skill on cornet.

Live at “The Club” certainly puts you there, at least for a little while, experiencing the old jazz clubs of yesteryear in the comfort of your own home.  Nostalgia runs high throughout its too short 41 minutes and, like all truly great performances, leaves the listener wanting more.

Until next time,

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