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JSngry

Joe Williams as John Henry

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cannonball-adderley_big-man-the-legend-o

Ok, I slept on this one for waaaaaaaaaayyyyy too long.

There's a LOT of music going on here, some of it totally what you would expect from a "musical", some of it not...but Joe Williams as the devil come to earth as John Henry who purports to lead his people to "the promised land"...and all that comes with all of that...suffice it to say that there's more meat here than I would have expected, although not a lot (if any) "jazz", which is ok by me, actually.

and Joe Williams RULES on this thing.

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+1, this is an interesting and satisfying recording.

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Bought this as part of an online bargain blowout sale several years ago, but haven't gotten around to listening to it yet... will definitely check it out with this rec from you, Jim.

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It's totally in line with the Cannonball we've all come to know and love/not-love(BOO on the haters!) - ambitious in it's overall vision, with a vision that looks to all sides of the Black Music Spectrum, not just some select few. ANY listener who has an appreciation of Cannonball as a Cultural Figure and not just as a "jazz musician"...this is a massive piece of that puzzle,

It should be noted that he did not write the book for this show (if in fact it was ever produced as such), It's also pretty interesting lyrically, as the "typical" John Henry myth of man vs. machine on the railroad is only touched in a very brief passing. The rest of it is something else entirely...

I feel really dumb now for not giving this one ANY attention for so long. But better late than never? It was like, Cannonball just died, Nat got everything finished for the record, not sure Cannonball even plays on it (it says he does, but there's no solos) and it's a freaking musical about that John Henry guy, yeah, ok, I think I can pass. Wrong.

oh, btw, Randy Crawfor & Robert Guillaume, neither "names at the time (this is Crawford's debut, I believe?) are in excellent form as well. But OMG - if this had gone to stage with Joe Williams as John Henry...oh my word...this record two years was before Roots...Joe Williams would have upset the world with this....

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