The Reverend Jesse Jackson gives an inspiring brief speech to open the festivities, and the Quintet begins with "Walk Tall," a lively jazz/R&B number. Named in honor of Jackson "Country Preacher" and written by keyboardist Joe Zawinul, the changing tempo tribute has two contrasting grooves: one's sad and reflective, the other happy and boisterous. The album tributes Jacksons' Operation Breadbasket program in Chicago, IL. Nat Adderley composed "Hummin'," a masterfully executed piece; the Adderley brothers' stinging solo's are complemented by Zawinul's sparkling piano play. Bassist Walter Booker shines on "Oh Babe," a vamp that owes more to blues than jazz, and Cannonball sings the bluesy lyrics like he had too much to drink. "Afro Spanish Omelet" has four parts: "Umbakwen" written by Nat finds Cannoball's sax at it's inquisitive best. Booker solos the entire 3:03 seconds of "Soli Tomba." "Oiga" is Zawinul's best solo, and drummer Roy McCurdy plays like a disturbed man surrounding Zawinul's probing electric piano with some imaginative percussioning. Cannonball displays well-trained chops on "Marabi" as he battles with brother Nat's coronet. Jesse Jackson kicks off "The Scene" while Cannoball gives thanks and group introductions over a roadhouse groove.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton