Gerald Cannon: Live At Dizzy’s Club: The Music Of Elvin & McCoy

Former Roy Hargrove bassist leads Tyner-Jones alumni including Dave Kikoski, Eddie Henderson and Lenny White in a modally inclined set

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Few crews are as well-equipped to honour the legacy of McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones as Gerald Cannon’s line-up at Dizzy’s. Cannon, perhaps best known as associate of the late Roy Hargrove, was part of the bands of McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, sharing duties with alto saxophonist Sherman Irby in Jones’s late-career group.

In fact, all his band mates have played with the two jazz giants at one time, not least the veteran post-boppers and fusion heavyweights trumpeter Eddie Henderson and drummer Lenny White. Moreover, most of these musicians at service in Dizzy’s Club in New York City have encountered each other in various configurations through the years.

Tyner’s shadow looms large over Cannon’s proceedings. His elegiac Search For Peace is smoothly carried out, though surpassed by Contemporary Focus, a booming piece marked by a playful duet of staccato patterns between Henderson and Cannon. Similarly enticing interplay, in this instance between tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and Cannon and White (last year’s rhythm section of Henderson’s Witness To History album), embellishes Blues In The Minor. The constantly energetic White comments on his own polyrhythmic style with juicy patterns, keeping his skillet good and greasy. The modal-tinged programme offers plenty of opportunity for vibrant blowing. This includes Cannon’s melancholic Three Elders, which features an appropriately cerebral solo by Sherman Irby.

Pianist Dave Kikoski rises to the occasion. His angular blues playing, notably on Jones’s EJ’s Blues, brims with the urgency of a man that dances on a volcano. He’s flexing his muscles equally vividly on the trio finale of Tyner’s Inception. Kikoski is also an accompanist with a great ear, notably when supporting Henderson during Jones’s 3 Card Molly. But all members of this septet, in fact, interact quite emphatically on Gerald Cannon’s excellent third album as a leader.

Discography
EJ’s Blues; Three Elders; 3 Card Molly; Search For The Peace; Blues In The Minor; Home; Contemporary Focus; Inception (72.22)
Eddie Henderson (t); Joe Lovano (ts); Sherman Irby (as); Steve Turre (tb); Dave Kikoski (p); Gerald Cannon (b); Lenny White (d). New York, 2022. 
Woodneck Records