Luther Hughes & the Cannonball-Coltrane Project
Released in December of 2004, This exciting debut CD features swinging, straight-ahead jazz from bassist/leader Luther Hughes and his top-notch cohorts, known collectively as 'The Cannonball-Coltrane Project.' Initially formed as an homage to the 1959 Cannonball Adderley-John Coltrane landmark album, 'The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago,' the group continues to pay tribute to these jazz giants with arrangements and original compositions related to or inspired by Cannonball and/or Coltrane. The Cannonball-Coltrane Project has received accolades from their musical peers, including Howard Rumsey, Red Holloway, Horace Silver, Mundell Lowe, and Cannonball's drummer for 11 years, Roy McCurdy. ABOUT THE ALBUM: I was sitting around one day listening to 'The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago,' a landmark album recorded in 1959. This album was the only time Cannonball and Coltrane appeared together on record other than their work with Miles Davis. As I was listening to this album I thought it might be fun to re-create and perform the original arrangements. While I was mulling over this idea, two dear friends came to mind--Glenn Cashman and Bruce Babad--who were big fans of both Cannonball and Trane. For the rhythm section, I called upon two old friends, Tom Ranier and Paul Kreibich. (In '04, when Tom was unavailable for a gig, I asked Ed Czach, the pianist from Paul's quintet, The Jazz Coop, to help us out. I couldn't have made a better call, as you can hear on this CD. I feel very lucky to have two great players to share the piano duties.) Everyone was as interested in this idea as I was, so we all did our homework on our individual parts, We played our first gig on June 20, 2002 in Southern California and the audience response was overwhelming. After a couple of gigs doing just the original material, the question was, 'Where do we go from here?' After that original '59 LP and their stint with Miles, Cannonball and Trane went on to develop their own identities even more. Cannonball got funky and played some of the first 'fusion.' Trane went on to write his famous 'Giant Steps,' then explored other directions, incorporating his spiritual side and avant garde. These different directions opened up so many possibilities for us. We had their entire musical lives to draw upon for inspiration, both in the writing of our own compositions and in the selection and arranging of classic jazz standards identified in some way with Cannonball or Coltrane. Our only limit was our imaginations--which we let run wild--and this CD is the result. (I'm already looking forward to our next CD. I can't wait to see where our imaginations take us next!) This first Cannonball-Coltrane Project CD pays tribute to the original 1959 album in a number of ways: the instrumental configuration; the style of playing; utilizing one track each featuring only the alto or tenor sax; and the inclusion of one of the tunes from the original album, 'Limehouse Blues.' Even Eddie Young's artwork on the cover pays tribute to the style used on the original LP. As Tom Ranier put it, 'Tribute albums are only successful if they are interpretive--that is, not a copy, but rather the players' interpretations, impressions and feelings of the original. The listener should be able to feel the great admiration and love we have for the original reflected in our tribute.' We're honored by and grateful for the support and enthusiasm shown by a number of our friends in the industry. Some have even suggested that Cannonball and Trane would have likely approved. Roy McCurdy, Cannonball Adderley's drummer for 11 years said, 'Cannonball liked music that was swingin', had a good feelin' and was bluesy....like this CD.' I invite you to catch the band live sometime. Until then, I think you'll find this CD to be a pretty good representation of the fun and excitement created at our gigs. --Luther Hughes ABOUT THE MUSICIANS: LUTHER HUGHES - leader & bass. Luther has performed or recorded with such greats as Gene Harris, Quincy Jones, Hampton Hawes, Louis Bellson, Charlie Shoemake, The Crusaders, Carmen McRae, Horace Silver, James Moody, and Mundell Lowe. Luther teaches at Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton College, Saddleback Community College and the Jazzmasters Workshop, all in Southern California. He also performs at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. BRUCE BABAD - alto sax. Bruce is the Associate Director of Jazz/Commercial Studies at Fullerton (CA) College. In addition to venues in the So. Cal. area, he has also perfomed at the North Sea and Montreux jazz festivals. In addition to leading his own group, Bruce has performed with such artists as Natalie Cole, Mel Lewis, Bobby Caldwell, and the Bill Holman Band. He appears on over 75 recordings and numerous jingles, TV and movie soundtracks. GLENN CASHMAN - tenor sax. Holding a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition, Glenn currently is Director of Jazz Studies at Colgate University in New York. An Indigo recording artist, Glenn's CD, 'I've Got Your Rhythm,' features Kenny Barron, and 'Blue and Green' features our own Tom Ranier. He's performed or recorded with Claudio Roditi, Gary Foster, Jeff Clayton, Rob McConnell, Gap Mangione, and many others. TOM RANIER - piano. Tom keeps extremely busy with his performing, recording and soundtrack work. Tom also has several solo projects to his credit. Among those he's worked with: Milt Jackson, The Manhattan Transfer, Ray Brown, Sammy Davis, Jr., Buddy DeFranco, Frank Sinatra, Dexter Gordon, Louis Bellson, Natalie Cole and many, many others. Tom plays piano on tracks 4, 7, 10, and 11 of this CD. ED CZACH - piano. Ed is a freelance musician and performs internation-ally. He holds a B.M. and M.M. from the Eastman School of Music in Rodchester, NY. Ed has performed or recorded with such notables as Clark Terry, Mel Tormé, Chuck Mangione, Bill Henderson, Doug MacLeod and The Jazz Coop. He also serves as musical director for a number of artists. Ed, who Luther affectionately calls 'groovedog' because he grooves so hard, plays on seven tracks of this CD. PAUL KREIBICH - drums. A much sought-after drummer in the So. Cal. jazz scene, Paul also leads two of his own groups, The Jazz Coop and Lonesome Tree. He has played or recorded with such world-class artists as Ray Charles, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Red Rodney, Mose Allison, Phil Woods, James Moody, Cedar Walton and the Woody Herman Orchestra to name a few. And like bandmate Luther Hughes, he is an alumnus of the Gene Harris Quartet.
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