"LH & the CCP" Review
by JIM SANTELLA
allaboutjazz.com - Mar 2005
Featuring alto saxophonist Bruce Babad and tenor saxophonist Glenn Cashman, The Cannonball-Coltrane Project remembers Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane with warm feelings. Initially formed as an homage to the landmark 1959 Adderley-Coltrane album The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago, the group continues to pay tribute to its elders through exceptional interpretations of straightahead jazz. Bassist Luther Hughes leads with the strength of Charles Mingus on this program of originals and familiar chestnuts.
Cashman starts his "Trane Remembered" with a muscular soliloquy that sets the mood for a lovely ballad. Infused with a blues connotation, the piece highlights the tenor saxophonist's Trane influence. Deep, mesmerizing strings of linked phrases flow from the horn with fluid ease. Tom Ranier's piano interlude complements Cashman's warm tribute with grace. As Cashman ends the piece with another prayerful soliloquy, we reflect on the sincere influence that has been wrought.
Babad's "Julian" recalls Cannonball Adderley's passion for the blues and his unmistakable round tone. Stretching each phrase with a personal touch, he emulates the spirit that Adderley gave us every day of his life. Ed Czach's piano interlude follows the same course of action with powerful gospel overtones. The quintet shines brightly with a heavy hand that drives its tribute message home.
Hughes has a real winner here with his quintet. Like most of today's generation, they have been deeply affected by the music of Coltrane and Adderley. Their sincere dedication makes the session come alive. You'll find yourself tapping things and nodding your head to the driving rhythms that dig into your soul. Hughes' bass and Paul Kreibich's drum set propels the session with spiritual power. After all, that's exactly what Coltrane and Adderley had in common. Today, it serves to bring a broader public into the fold. Through Luther Hughes' inspired project, we can all join the church of John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley.
Jim Santella has been contributing CD reviews, concert reviews and DVD reviews to AAJ since 1997. His work has also appeared in Southland Blues, The L.A. Jazz Scene, and Cadence Magazine.