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"LH & the CCP" Review
Jazz Improv Magazine - Fall 2005

This is a most interesting project; the result of an interesting idea. The original conception was to recreate a classic jazz album,The Cannonball Adderly Quintet in Chicago. As Hughes himself points out in his personal liner notes to the CD, the live set appearing on this 1959 release marks the only recording featuring the magic duo of Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane, outside of their legendary dates with Miles Davis. A working band was formed with the idea that each member would listen to the recording and recreate their respective parts. The band, led by bassist Luther Hughes, began gigging in 2002.

For their first studio project, the band decided to tribute the album not verbatim, but in style, instrumentation and album "shape" (both this release and the 1959 classic feature one track each which spotlights only tenor or alto.) The material consists of original material from the band members, inspired by the Cannonball Quintet date, as well as Coltrane and/or Adderly staples such as "Impressions" and Tadd Dameron's "Super Jet." Also included is one album re-creation, featuring this modern band playing the original arrangement of "Limehouse Blues," as it appeared on Cannonball's Chicago date.

Luther Hughes And The Cannonball-Coltrane Project begins with two medium tempo swing tunes. The first is Tadd Dameron's "Super Jet" which was recorded by Coltrane on the album Mating Call. The next tune, entitled "Bass Blues" was written by his Miles Davis bandmate, pianist Red Garland. The next tune, "Partido Mar Vista" was written by drummer Paul Kreibich. As Luther Hughes put it in his liner notes, the song, much like "Jive Samba," penned by Cannonball Adderly "soulfully blends elements of Brazilian rhythm and the Blues."

Glenn Cashman's offering, "Trane Remembered" is a ballad performed in the classic sixties Coltrane style. Also written by the tenorist is "No Mercy," reminiscent of Cannonball's crossover hit "Mercy, Mercy." From alto saxophonist Bruce Babad comes "Julian," a gospelly slow straight "8" note tune, the medium swinger "The Old Ball and Trane" and "Sapphire," with a decidedly McCoy Tyner-ish vibe.

If you've heard The Cannonball Adderly Quintet in Chicago and liked what you heard, you're sure to enjoy Luther Hughes And The Cannonball-Coltrane Project. If you haven't heard the classic hard bop album, go get it and listen to that first to get a feel for what to expect from Luther Hughes' band. This release is so closely tied with the other that you might find yourself feeling like you're watching the sequel to a movie you haven't seen. However, let it not be suggested that the musicians Hughes has assembled are copying their original counterparts. On the contrary, this release plays tribute to a classic jazz recording in a fresh and unique way.