A Season of Songs, day 28: The Scene

A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring.  I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up.  I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever.  Enjoy!

We’re four weeks into this project.  I hope people are enjoying reading these things.  If not, well, I’m for the most part enjoying writing them, so I’ll continue on.

Today we have “The Scene” by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet.  The version I listened to this morning was taken from the album “Country Preacher” recorded in 1969.  I couldn’t find that version online, but here is a version from “The Black Messiah” recorded the following year.

The song is just a short repeated horn hook that, based on both of these albums, was used frequently as a closing number where Cannonball took the opportunity to introduce the band and say their goodnights.  In the Country Preacher version, there is a bit of a call and response, preacher-style at the beginning of the song involving some chants of “SOUL POWER”.  Then the song picks up with the hook, this leads to the introductions and then back that hook.  A little over 2 minutes and its done.

Those band member introductions always seemed so stupid and wrong when done by rock bands.  Egotistical maybe?  But when done in the setting of a jazz band, it always seemed right.  I think it is mostly in the fact that many of these jazz bands are coalesced around one musician that the group is named after – Cannonball Adderley Quintet, John Coltrane Quartet, etc.  It’s a way for the band leader to acknowledge those people who help them shine. Probably still a bit egotistical, but in a more reasonable way.

I feel like Cannonball Adderley doesn’t quite get the acknowledgement he deserves.  I have I think 4 records of his and there all solid.  Not blow you away type albums, but fine albums that keep up a good energy.  It seems like most of the stuff I have of his is live albums and there are some nice bits when he talks to the crowd, I especially enjoy his intro to “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” on the album of the same name.

If you see a used Cannonball Adderley record in the bin at the record store, pick it up and give it a spin, I think you’ll enjoy it.


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