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Hayes Pays Tribute to 'Cannonball'

The brothers Julian "Cannonball" Adderley on alto saxophone and Nat Adderley on cornet led one of the most popular bands of the 1960s. Cannonball had the higher profile, coming off his time with Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the top-selling Kind of Blue.

The Adderleys' music still sounds appealing and fresh today. Drummer Louis Hayes is the perfect one to revive it, because in his early to mid-20s, from 1959 to 1965, he lived in that band. He absorbed and energized every note. New-generation trumpeter Jeremy Pelt takes the Nat Adderley parts, while newcomer Julius Tolentino — sitting in for regular Vincent Herring — had a big night on the alto with the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band.

Hayes grew up in Detroit in a fabulous musical era. His first break came when he joined saxophonist Yusef Lateef's group with trombonist Curtis Fuller. Unfortunately for him, Hayes was underage and couldn't continue with the group. In 1956, he moved to New York to work with pianist Horace Silver's new group.

The big change for Hayes came in 1959, when he joined the Adderleys with Bobby Timmons on piano. Bassist Sam Jones and Hayes locked in so tight that they became the "dynamic duo," which stayed together to record with guitarist Wes Montgomery and others.

The centerpiece of the set is "Bohemia After Dark," originally — and definitively — recorded by Cannonball in San Francisco on Live at the Jazz Workshop. Hayes also recorded the song for Maximum Firepower with his Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band.

Copyright 2008 WBGO