CD of the Month
September 2010 CD of the Month
Our September CD of the Month selection is a ground breaking choice. For the first time ever we pick an album to serve as a posthumous tribute, it’s the final statement by the recently deceased saxophonist and educator, Hadley Caliman who passed away due to liver cancer on Wednesday September 8th in Seattle, his home for more than 20 years. For his last recording session Hadley reunited with his former understudy Pete Christlieb who played with Caliman in the early 1960s along Los Angeles’ famed Central Avenue district. Back in the 1950s when Hadley was a young lion attempting to make his mark in jazz he was nicknamed “Little Dex” because of the similarity in sound to his saxophone hero, fellow Angeleno, Dexter Gordon. By the time he began playing with the Gerald Wilson Big Band, Mongo Santamaría band and others in the 1960s, Hadley had honed his own unique style. During the 1970s Caliman lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and played with the leading jazzers like Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard & Bobby Hutcherson just to name a few. He also expanded his field of expertise by playing and recording with the Latin rock bands, Santana & Malo among others.
After many years of inactivity, Hadley moved to Seattle and began a long stint as an educator at the Cornish College for the Arts, when he retired from teaching Caliman resumed his recording career releasing 3 CDs on Seattle’s own Origin Records, he also appeared as a sideman on other albums and twice played at Denver’s Dazzle Jazz Lounge. The last recording by Hadley Caliman is titled Reunion as once again he teams up with Pete Christlieb, another formidable saxophonist who hails from Los Angeles. The stellar rhythm section is led by veteran pianist Bill Anschell who penned a song for a mighty battle of the saxes and named it in honor of Hadley, Little Dex. The fireworks continue with another Anschell original, Wide Stance, more gems are found throughout this sizzling session, be it with other originals or standards. Bass player Chuck Deardoff and drummer John Bishop add all the chops necessary to make Reunion a guaranteed contender for the 2010 CD of the year award while making this final statement by the late Hadley Caliman, a fitting epitaph.