A few seconds of spacy echo loops and you know where this album is coming from – the early jazz/rock era, the Age of Aquarius and all that. Yet this crazy amalgam of jazz, rock, electronics, and spoken astrological advice by the popular Los Angeles DJ Rick Holmes actually works, for the music behind the soulfully intoned words is very inventive and Holmes plays effectively off its rhythms.
Depending on the nature of the person involved, success either dictates more and more compulsive activity, or else it permits relaxation. With Cannonball Adderley, the latter certainly appears to be the case; and this album can, among other things, serve as a testimonial to the truth of this impression. Adderley is undeniably a successful, widely-acclaimed artist, and it may seem to some that his success came quickly. But it is more in the nature of what one night-club comic once referred to bitterly as "my overnight success after fifteen years." To recap briefly, Cannonball came up to New York in the mid-'5Os with a thorough background as a player…
Cannonball Adderley gave up his own band in 1957 when he had the opportunity to become a sideman in Miles Davis' epic ensemble with John Coltrane, eventually resulting in some of the greatest jazz recordings of all time (including Milestones and Kind of Blue). Davis returned the favor in March of 1958, appearing as a sideman on Adderley's all-star quintet date for Blue Note, and the resulting session is indeed Somethin' Else. Both horn players are at their peak of lyrical invention, crafting gorgeous, flowing blues lines on the title tune and "One for Daddy-O," as the rhythm team (Hank Jones, Sam Jones, Art Blakey) creates a taut, focused groove…
Adderley's next-to-last recording (cut just four months before he died of a stroke at age 46) was ironically a retrospective of his career. While his then-current group (with cornetist Nat Adderley, keyboardist Mike Wolff, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Roy McCurdy) was featured on half of this two-LP set (highlighted by "Stars Fell on Alabama," "74 Miles Away," and a medley of "Walk Tall" and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"), on the remainder of this two-fer the Adderleys welcome back several alumni (keyboardist George Duke, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes) for new versions of "High Fly," "Work Song," "Sack O'Woe," "Jive Samba," "This Here," and "The Sidewalks of New York." A recommended set with plenty of excellent music, it serves as a fine overview of Cannonball Adderley's career.
Killer work from the same sessions that gave the world Cannonball Adderley's classic Black Messiah album – live material from an extended stretch as the Troubadour club in LA – featuring a very righteous, freewheeling version of Cannonball's group! The lineup features some wonderful work on Fender Rhodes from George Duke – who brings a more soulful, spiritual current to the proceedings than Joe Zawinul did in earlier years – a really commanding presence that hints at his brewing solo fame, and which is a very welcome addition to the core lineup, which also includes Cannon on soprano and alto, and brother Nat on cornet!
If the 60's ever had a "hit" jazz record, it was probably this one! The album's a sparkling live session featuring the trademark soul jazz sounds of the Cannonball Adderley group with Joe Zawinul on acoustic and electric piano, and brother Nat Adderley on cornet. The tracks have a long soulful groove, with gutbucket solos from the 3 above-mentioned players, and tight live production by a young David Axelrod. Titles include "Sticks", "Hippodelphia", "Sack O Woe", and the classic "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" – a jazz theme that you'll recognize instantly!
It is a bit strange that none of the eight songs performed on this LP found their way into Adderley's permanent repertoire for the altoist is quite inspired throughout this surprising set. With strong assists from cornetist Nat Adderley, Charles Lloyd on tenor and flute, pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes, Cannonball plays near his peak; this is certainly the finest album by this particular sextet.
Though labeled as a Cannonball Adderley Quintet session, this is actually a workout with a percussion section loaded with African drums, a big band, and in spots, voices – all unidentified. Nevertheless, this is one of the best and most overlooked of the Cannonball Adderley Capitols, a rumbling session that bursts with the joy of working in an unfamiliar yet vital rhythmic context. Cannonball turns in one of his swinging-est solos through a Varitone electronic attachment on Caiphus Semenya's "Gumba Gumba" and "Marabi" is a real hip-jiggler; you can't sit still through it. Other highlights include Cannon preaching blue smoke in his own Afro-Cuban-blues-flavored "Hamba Nami," a dignified trip through Wes Montgomery's "Up and At It," and Nat Adderley's commanding work on cornet at all times.
Compiled by pianist Joe Zawinul, this Capitol collection features 10 songs composed by Zawinul himself and performed by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. Both one-time members of Miles Davis's groups, Adderley and Zawinul began their association in the early 1960s when Zawinul joined the sax man's ensemble. In addition to writing some of Adderley's most memorable and popular material, Zawinul proved instrumental in pushing the quintet toward a more soulful, commercially viable sound.