Saturday, September 10, 2011

Imagery In Music

The great jazz DJ Ed Love of radio station WDET Detroit host a program called  "Destination Jazz", heard mostly on week ends.  It is on this program that I first heard what can only be called the quintessential jazz album of all time .

"Somethin Else" recorded by jazz great musician Julius Cannonball Adderly in 1958,  is regarded as the all time landmark jazz album.  This recording is both hard bop and cool simultaneously.   Most notably this album features the jazz trumpet great Miles Davis.

Because Miles Davis is featured on many of the first solos on this album his leadership or co-leadership  has always been in dispute. The liner notes states that he chose much of the material for the album.

On "One for 'Daddy - O" written by Nat Adderly, brother of Cannonnball for the Chicago DJ  Holmes "Daddy - O" Daylie, at the end of the track Miles can be heard speaking to Alfred Lion the producer "Is that what you wanted, Alfred ?"  I find this so appealing because if you have ever heard Miles speak, his deep whisper voice it is so unmistakable Miles Davis.

The collaboration between the two would continue on to produce on of the most prominent,  universally acclaimed and all time best selling jazz albums 'Kinda Blue".  With Cannonball on alto saxophone and John Coltrane on tenor. Early on in my listening to this particular LP it was challenging to learn who was  first to take the horn solo.  But Cannonball for me has always had a lighter tone that Coltrane.

"Somethib Else" also has Art Blakey on drums,  Hank Jones on piano, who I might add composed Alison's Uncle, referring to Cannonball, another more hard bop number featured on the disk and Sam Jones on bass, ( no relation ).

It would not be fair if I did not mention the  great singer Otis Redding. He deserves equal billing on this day as well.  Aretha Franklin  said he was "a country boy with a great voice".  Not meant as degradation but this allowed him to inject a degree on innocence to his  singing.  Of his many songs his voice on " Try a Little Tenderness" is one of the all time best recordings. Matched by only the likes of James Brown and Sam Cooke.

Of all the art forms music  can create so much imagery from just a song.

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