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Nat Adderley: Introducing Nat Adderley

David Rickert By

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Nat Adderley: Introducing Nat Adderley The Adderley brothers were key players in the birth of hard bop, a style which grew out of the advancements of Bud Powell and other pioneers who formed a sound that many artists took to the bank for years. At this point in time Cannonball had formed his first quintet with Nat as a sideman; facing indifferent recognition, Cannonball went on to join Miles Davis and met with far greater acclaim. The two would later reunite in the second Cannonball Adderley quintet with much greater success; after his stint with Davis, the public was much more receptive to what Cannonball had to say. This album is a bit unusual in that Nat is the leader and Cannonball is the sideman, although since the altoist is such a pervasive influence and all the tunes we co-written by the two, the distinction of who is in charge makes little difference.

The Adderley brothers were always at their best working in the hard bop vein. Although they specialized in different instruments, their styles were remarkably similar; playful and lively, with a generous helping of the blues. They wear their Parker-Gillespie influences on their sleeves, trading off fluttering arpeggios and staccato runs at a rapid fire pace, and obviously prefer sticking to the higher register given their choice of instruments (Nat is one of the few jazz players to specialize in the cornet). Most of the songs here are skillfully designed to exploit the talents of both, although they are interchangeable with hundreds of other hard bop themes from the era. However, they truly seem to be enjoying themselves here, indulging their love of playing jazz.

You would also be hard pressed to find a rhythm section better than the one assembled here; all three were highly regarded sidemen who amongst them have probably appeared on over a third of all sessions recorded during this period. Horace Silver would go on to record greasy soul anthems for the hard bop generation like "Song For My Father"; his sharp attack provides a bed of nails for the horns to blow over. Paul Cha


Track Listing: Watermelon, Little Joanie Walks, Two Brothers, I Should Care, Crazy Baby, New Arrivals, Sun Dance, Fort Lauderdale, Friday Nite, Blues For Bohemia.

Personnel: Nat Adderley, cornet; Cannonball Adderley, alto sax; Horace Silver, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Roy Haynes, drums.

Year Released: 1955 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


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