The Black Messiah - 1972
One of the oft-overlooked giants of late 60s/early 70s jazz fusion, Cannonball Adderley's music was buoyed by the tremendous songwriting of Joe Zawinul, who moonlighted on Miles Davis' In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew LPs before taking the reins of Weather Report with Wayne Shorter. Black Messiah, recorded live at the Trubadour in LA, proves that Adderley's music could certainly stand on its own without him. Featuring the wild electric piano of George Duke to fill Zawinul's role, the band is fleshed out to the point that Adderley protests before one song "Now I don't give a damn whether you can count or not, we still are the Cannonball Adderley Quintet!" This vicious mix of tunes runs the gamut from dark funk to boogie, includes a four minute flute/percussion solo featuring Airto Moriera and basically changes style from one number to the next. That however, paired with Cannonball's warm stage presence and unmatched rapport with his audience, is what makes this LP so enjoyable. Get up with it.