Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
THE CANNONBALL ADDERLEY QUINTET | Country Preacher
Selected by Jesse Ducker
Music has always been an integral part of Civil Rights Movements, and the social upheaval of the ’60s and ’70s was no exception. Country Preacher was recorded in 1969 at an unidentified church meeting of the Chicago branch of Operation: Breadbasket, the economic arm of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Hosted by Reverend Jesse Jackson (a.k.a. the “Country Preacher”), who headed Operation: Breadbasket in Chicago, the Cannonball Adderley Quintet uses the album to inspire hope as well as to explore the many forms of Black music.
From the alternating melancholy and upbeat jazz grooves of the title track, to the gospel tinged “Hummin’,” to their spin on a Blues song with “Oh Babe,” Cannonball Adderley and crew show they’re extremely adept at filtering all sorts of musical styles through their exceptional talents. Country Preacher’s most ambitious effort is the nearly 16-minute, four-part epic “Afro-Spanish Omlet,” where the Quintet laces abstract jazz with Latino influences through four distinctive movements. Country Preacher is both spiritually moving and musically immaculate.