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"Second Helping" Review
All Music Guide - July 2006

4-1/2 Stars.

The second CD by Luther Hughes & the Cannonball-Coltrane Project continues a primary (but not exclusive focus) on the repertoire of bands led by Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane. The bassist is again joined by Paul Kreibich (his old bandmate in the Gene Harris Quartet), tenor saxophonist Glenn Cashman, alto saxophonist Bruce Babad, and pianist Ed Czach.

Hughes' arrangement of Nat Adderley's well-known "Work Song" retains the essence of the original recording, but makes significant changes that open new avenues for this jazz standard. Hughes throws a bit of a curve in his chart of Milt Jackson's "Bags and Trane," giving Czach the opening solo before Cashman and Babad take their turns in the spotlight. Cashman's original "Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic" has a bit of a misleading title, as it is actually a laid-back bossa nova, while Kreibich's "Takin' It Home" is the kind of swanky hard bop one would expect from an edition of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Czach's slightly off-kilter take of Sam Jones' "Unit 7" avoids the predictable paths. Babad switches to soprano sax for his "Trane Robbers," a challenging vehicle with plenty of spirited interplay that acknowledges all modern saxophonists' huge debt to John Coltrane's contributions to jazz.

Highly recommended.