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"Luther Hughes and the Cannonball Coltrane Project: Things
Are Getting Better" by FC Etier Technorati.com - Jan
What does an acoustic bass player have in common with Star
Trek's Deep Space 9 series? Luther Hughes appeared in six episodes
playing bass in a holographic band in an imaginary 1962 jazz club. Three
years before, in real life, Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane recorded
what became a landmark album – The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in
Chicago. Barely a couple of years after the turn of the century, that same
album would inspire a “trekkie geek” to re-create and perform
the original arrangements.
It worked so well, Luther Hughes and the Cannonball
Coltrane Project (CCP) is about to release their fourth CD, Things
Are Getting Better. Once again, drawing on inspiration from a Cannonball
Adderley album of the same title. Adderley's recording dates to 1959 and
along with Cannonball, includes an all-star cast of Milt Jackson on vibes,
Wynton Kelly on piano, Percy Heath on bass and Art Blakey on drums. The listener
must wait until track ten to hear an inspired yet loyal cover of the title
Things Are Getting Better opens with “Jive Samba” (arranged
by Hughes) and contains twelve tracks, seven of which were composed by CCP
members. All original compositions are tight and cleverly arranged. Saxophonist
Bruce Babad composed and arranged “Primrose Star” which contains
a reference to “Stars Fell On Alabama” found on the album that
provided the original inspiration for the CCP. In addition to the opening and
title tracks, my favorite is the cover of “Blue Daniel”, covered
by Cannonball on Live at the Lighthouse (1960). “Take the Coltrane”,
a Duke Ellington tribute to one of the great saxophone men closes out the CD.
Roy McCurdy, Cannonball Adderley's drummer for 11 years said, "Cannonball
liked music that was swingin`, had a good feelin' and was bluesy.…like
your CD." An overwhelming response from live audiences and feedback from other
artists like McCurdy drive Hughes and the CCP. This reviewer concurs and looks
forward to more from these guys. This project will please long time Adderley
and Coltrane fans as well as bring new listeners to jazz.
Joining Hughes in the CCP are Glen Cashman and Bruce Babad on
tenor and alto sax respectively, Ed Czach at the piano, and Paul Kreibich on
drums and percussion. Things Are Getting Better will be released on January
11, 2011 by Primrose Lane Music.
The album is available online via the group's website or at CDBaby.com.