342

Cannonball Adderley: Great Sessions

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Cannonball Adderley: Great Sessions A less cohesive and chronologically compact collection than the others in Blue Note/Capitol's new budget priced Great Sessions series, Cannonball Adderley's set offers a potpourri of three albums recorded for Blue Note, Riverside and Capitol between 1958 and 1966, charting the saxophonist's trajectory from blues-drenched Charlie Parker disciple to soul-jazz pioneer.

The cream in the coffee, of course, is Somethin' Else, recorded for Blue Note in 1958 and here in its RVG remaster edition. The greatest of Adderley's early albums, it's also something of a Miles Davis recording under another name. (Adderley had been a member of Davis' band since 1957 and played on Milestones, and on Somethin' Else Davis returns the favour.) Davis wrote the title track, states most of the themes, and solos on all tunes except the hot-ballad saxophone showcase "Dancing In The Dark."

Much of the music, and in particular the "Freddie Freeloader"-ish "Somethin' Else," sounds like a rehearsal for 1959's Kind Of Blue, and the two albums sit comfortably next to each other. Adderley straddles the bop/blues nexus with customary ease, and Davis uncustomarily loosens his stays. (The Hank Jones-penned bonus track "Bangoon," a tune ripped almost wholesale out of the Tadd Dameron songbook, contains a memorably open, and openhearted, trumpet solo.)

Canonball's Bossa Nova, recorded for Riverside in 1962, is a less successful set, teaming Adderley with Sergio Mendes' unspectacular Bossa Rio Sextet, which was visiting New York at the time. Adderley is simply too hot and too funky a player to slot into the soft and subtle bossa groove, and his throaty vocalisations sound out of place.

With Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, recorded for Capitol in 1966, we're back on the good foot again. The album was recorded in front of an invited studio audience in Los Angeles (and not, as the obfuscating title and original liner notes suggest, at The Club, a shortlived Chicago venture opened by a radio DJ acquaintance of Adderley). By the mid-'60s, Adderley was sitting solidly in a soul-jazz groove, and every track on the album burns furiously. Joe Zawinul's brilliantly cathartic "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"—surely one of the funkiest slow-drags ever written, and a master class in the use of tension and release—and Adderley's own roaring blues bopper "Sticks" are standouts, but there isn't a single dud on the album. The David Axelrod-produced sound isn't the greatest, but you can always hit the volume button. A steaming, down-home stew.

Track Listing: CD 1: Somethin' Else: Autumn Leaves; Love For Sale; Somethin' Else; One For Daddy-o; Dancing In The Dark; Bangoon.
CD 2: Cannonball's Bossa Nova: Clouds; Minha Saudades; Corcovado; Batida Diferentes; Joyce's Sambas; Groovy Sambas; O Amor Em Paz (Once I Loved); Sambops; Corcovado (alternate take); Clouds (single version).
CD 3: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy: Fun; Games; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; Sticks; Hippodelphia; Sack O' Woe.

Personnel: Julian Cannonball Adderley: alto saxophone; with
CD 1: Miles Davis: trumpet; Hank Jones: piano; Sam Jones: bass; Art Blakey: drums.
CD 2: Sergio Mendes: piano; Durval Ferreira: guitar; Octavio Bailey Jr: bass; Dom Um Romao: drums. Pedro Paulo and Paulo Moura: trumpet and alto saxophone (2,4,5,7,8).
CD 3: Nat Adderley: cornet; Joe Zawinul: piano, electric piano; Victor Gaskin: bass; Roy McCurdy: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Capitol Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read Numbers CD/LP/Track Review Numbers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 30, 2017
Read The Busker CD/LP/Track Review The Busker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 30, 2017
Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 30, 2017
Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Out 'N' In" CD/LP/Track Review Out 'N' In
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute to Horace Parlan" CD/LP/Track Review My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute to Horace Parlan
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Sky Begins" CD/LP/Track Review Sky Begins
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 11, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!