Orrin's commentary (from his original liner notes): "There are two very good reasons why this album, which at this writing is just a couple of years short of being a half-century old, remains one of my warmest recording memories. Undoubtedly the more important reason is that this really represents the coming of age of Nat Adderley, a man I will always consider among the most adventurous and intelligent players and leaders I have ever worked with. But to step back and evaluate this album in a very personal way, it is half of what must be one of the most complicated and most rewarding weeks of recording activity I have ever experienced."
Early material from Nat Adderley. His pithy, pungent trumpet and cornet work is effective in a hard bop context, although his own work outside his brother's group has never seemed quite as effective. His backing group included Kenny Clarke in a non-Modern Jazz Quartet role, plus pianist Hank Jones, bassist Wendell Marshall, and Jerome Richardson on tenor sax and flute, playing with more punch than on either his Quincy Jones or Oliver Nelson large group dates.
Adderley has evidently found a soul mate in alto saxophonist Vince Herring, with whom he works once more on this 1990 date. Herring's voice has grown more impressive with each release, and he now offers more than just dazzling lines and phrases; he's constructing and completing confident statements. Pianist Rob Bargad, another regular, is on board, with bassist James Genus and drummer Billy Drummond.
One of Nat Adderley's finest albums. Sometimes the inclusion of tuba in a small-group modern jazz setting can produce whale-like results among a school of dolphin, but that's not the case here. Tuba man Laymon Jackson doesn't dominate or weigh down the proceedings, but merely gives them another texture. Nat is in fine form; I like his Miles mode on BLUE CONCEPT a lot. Tune selection for the date is also top rate: the two compositions by Duke Pearson (WHAT NEXT? and LITTLE MISS) are especially good. Nat Adderley fans and modern jazz lovers in general should like this ambitious CD very much.
Adderly worked with psychedelic cosmonaut David Axelrod among others and the religious themes which borrow from the Bible to the Bhagavad Gita and Buddhism make an interesting backdrop to the blues jazz rock fusion showcased on this double album. i've come back to this album more than a few times only to pick up on something new on the way. it's a fun idea to put cool religious/philosophical concepts over swinging seventies soul jazz fusion. not that the sermons are long and dominate the record - they don't . they usually just open a new set and leave you to marvel at some profound idea while the musicians do their thing after that! Somewhat similar or comparable to Miles' "Bitch's Brew" album, though perhaps less dark.
A few seconds of spacy echo loops and you know where this album is coming from – the early jazz/rock era, the Age of Aquarius and all that. Yet this crazy amalgam of jazz, rock, electronics, and spoken astrological advice by the popular Los Angeles DJ Rick Holmes actually works, for the music behind the soulfully intoned words is very inventive and Holmes plays effectively off its rhythms.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Nat Adderley's not actually busking in the subway – but instead playing a smoking little set at the Subway Nightclub in Cologne – working with an excellent group that includes Vincent Herring on alto sax, and some excellent rhythm work from the trio of Rob Bargad on piano, Walter Booker on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums! The tunes are all nice and long, and have a stretching, soulful feel that's really great – and which gets past the "classic" soul jazz cliches that can sometimes mar other Adderley albums from later years. Nat's in fine fine form, and Herring seems to help him unwind in a hip groove that's really carried off well – and the album's got a richness that easily makes it one of the best later sessions from Nat you can find! Titles include "The Chant", "Almost Always", "The Big J", "Plum Street", and "The Scene".
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A stone killer from Cannonball Adderley's funky brother – one of the best soul jazz sets ever cut by Nat Adderley, and one done with a smoking 60s Atlantic Records groove! Nat's blowing trumpet throughout – and working in 2 different groups – one a larger ensemble with a tight soulful swing, arranged by Jimmy Wisner – the other a smaller combo with tenor from Joe Henderson and piano from Herbie Hancock! The whole thing grooves beautifully – and titles include "Gospelette", "Call Me", "Cantaloupe Island", "Hippodelphia", "The Other Side", and "Manchild".