Cannonball Adderley

Radio Nights (Hyena)

The late Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's near-legendary album Radio Nights, recorded live at New York's old Half Note in 1967 and 1968 for radio broadcast, has long been hoarded by vinyl collectors. Now producer Joel Dorn has transferred this gem to CD on his new Hyena label. The nightclub mikes are still way off -- pianist Joe Zawinul sounds like he's in Hoboken -- but the raw emotional power of these seven tracks (including Adderley evergreens like "Work Song" and "The Little Boy With the Sad Eyes") will remind jazz fans just how exuberantly the great alto saxophonist's hard-driving quintet and sextet (both are represented) worked seven nights a week. "Little Brother" Nat Adderley, on cornet, really lights the fuse.

A dedicated treasure hunter and revivalist, Dorn has inaugurated Hyena with three more CDs of note: saxophonist Eddie Harris's A Tale of Two Cities, soulful pianist Les McCann's Les Is More and, most notable, a collection of nine live Rahsaan Roland Kirk tracks, now packaged as The Man Who Cried Fire; they emphasize the mysterious multi-instrumentalist's "inside" playing. It's rare and beautiful stuff, to the last bar.

 
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