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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Original Jazz Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
What's better than a Bill Evans Trio album? How about a Bill Evans trio album on which the bassist is Percy Heath, the drummer is Connie Kay, and the leader is not Evans but alto sax god Cannonball Adderley, making the group actually a quartet? It's a different sort of ensemble, to be sure, and the musical results are marvelous. Adderley's playing on "Waltz for Debby" is both muscular and sensitive, as it is on the other Evans composition here, a modal ballad called "Know What I Mean?" Other treats include the sprightly "Toy" and two takes of the Gershwin classic "Who Cares?" The focus here is, of course, on Adderley's excellent post-bop stylings, but it's also interesting to hear Evans playing with a rhythm section as staid and conservative as Kay and Heath (both charter members of the Modern Jazz Quartet). It's hard to imagine any fan of mainstream jazz not finding much to love on this very fine recording. © Rick Anderson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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 (pianist Hank Jones' sly, intuitive orchestrations are studies of harmonic understatement). Adderley's lush, romantic improvisation on "Dancing in the Dark" is worthy of Charlie Parker or Johnny Hodges, while the band refurbishes "Autumn Leaves" and "Love for Sale" into cliché-free swingers. And "Alison's Uncle" puts a boppish coda on Somethin' Else, one of the most gloriously laid-back blowing sessions of the hard bop era. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Riverside

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
What's better than a Bill Evans Trio album? How about a Bill Evans trio album on which the bassist is Percy Heath, the drummer is Connie Kay, and the leader is not Evans but alto sax god Cannonball Adderley, making the group actually a quartet? It's a different sort of ensemble, to be sure, and the musical results are marvelous. Adderley's playing on "Waltz for Debby" is both muscular and sensitive, as it is on the other Evans composition here, a modal ballad called "Know What I Mean?" Other treats include the sprightly "Toy" and two takes of the Gershwin classic "Who Cares?" The focus here is, of course, on Adderley's excellent post-bop stylings, but it's also interesting to hear Evans playing with a rhythm section as staid and conservative as Kay and Heath (both charter members of the Modern Jazz Quartet). It's hard to imagine any fan of mainstream jazz not finding much to love on this very fine recording. © Rick Anderson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Cannonball Adderley's most popular album, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy wasn't actually recorded "Live at 'The Club'," as its subtitle says. The hoax was meant to publicize a friend's nightclub venture in Chicago, but Adderley actually recorded the album in Los Angeles, where producer David Axelrod set up a club in the Capitol studios and furnished free drinks to an invitation-only audience. Naturally, the crowd is in an extremely good mood, and Adderley's quintet, feeding off the energy in the room, gives them something to shout about. By this point, Adderley had perfected a unique blend of earthy soul-jazz and modern, subtly advanced post-bop; very rarely did some of these harmonies and rhythms pop up in jazz so saturated with blues and gospel feeling. Those latter influences are the main inspiration for acoustic/electric pianist Joe Zawinul's legendary title cut, a genuine Top 40 pop hit that bears a passing resemblance to the Southern soul instrumentals of the mid-'60s, but works a looser, more laid-back groove (without much improvisation). The deep, moaning quality and spacy texture of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" stand in contrast to the remainder of the record, though; Nat Adderley contributes two upbeat and challenging originals in "Fun" and "Games," while Zawinul's second piece, "Hippodelphia," is on the same level of sophistication. The leader's two selections -- the gospel-inflected "Sticks" and the hard-swinging, bluesy bop of "Sack O' Woe" (the latter of which became a staple of his repertoire) -- are terrific as well, letting the group really dig into its roots. Adderley's irrepressible exuberance was a major part of his popularity, and no document captures that quality as well -- or with such tremendous musical rewards -- as Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Ballads is a lovely collection of Cannonball Adderley's work on Blue Note from the late '50s to the mid-'60s. Since the nine selections have been taken from nine different albums, the personnel varies widely. The overall mood and approach, however, remain uniform. On "Now I Have Everything" flutist Charles Lloyd, pianist Joe Zawinul, and cornet player Nat Adderley join in for a short, impressionistic lullaby; on "Easy Living" pianist Barry Harris, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes lend their talents to a soulful take on a favorite standard. Adderley's alto paints in broad, expressionistic colors, wringing just a little more feeling from each note of "I Worship You" and "I Can't Get Started." The mood of pieces like "Dancing in the Dark" reminds one of a rainy night in a film noir classic, with the lights reflecting against the wet city streets at three a.m. The last cut, the 15-minute "The Song My Lady Sings," caps off 55 minutes of quiet, reflective jazz. This low-key exit quietly ebbs and flows as the band fills it with atmosphere to spare. For the unfamiliar, Ballads will serve as relaxed introduction into Adderley's stunning work; for all others, Ballads will serve as the perfect disc for late-night listening. © Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr. /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Universal Music Mexico

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
This title provides ample evidence why alto Cannonball Adderley is considered one of the masters of his craft. Here he joins forces with Modern Jazz Quartet co-founder Milt Jackson on vibes to create a variety of sonic atmospheres. They are backed by the all-star ensemble of Wynton Kelly on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and the one and only Art Blakey on drums. The moody "Blues Oriental" opens the set with Jackson immediately diving in with his trademark fluid runs and shimmering intonation. Adderley counters with a light and lively line that weaves between the rhythm section. The optimistic "Things Are Getting Better" is a good-natured romp as the co-leads trade and cajole each other into some downright rollicking exchanges. This directly contrasts with the sultry "Serves Me Right," which allows the combo members to demonstrate their collective musical malleability. The interaction between Adderley and Jackson sparkles as they entwine their respective playing with an uncanny singularity of spirit. The cover of Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" contains another spirited performance with some thoroughly engaging improvisation, especially during Adderley's voracious solos. "Sidewalks of New York" bops freely as Jackson unleashes some sublime licks against a hearty and equally boisterous sax. Adderley's "Sounds for Sid" demonstrates his uncanny ability to swing with a strong R&B vibe. With drop-dead timing and profound instrumental chops, this cut is undoubtedly one of the best from Adderley's earliest canon. The album concludes with a jumping reading of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things." While Wynton Kelly has been uniformly solid, his interjections stand out here as he bridges and undergirds the two as they banter with flair and aplomb. This set can be recommended without hesitation to all manner of jazz enthusiast, as it quite literally offers something for every taste. [Some reissues include two bonus tracks supplementing the original seven-song running order, alternate takes of "Serves Me Right" and "Sidewalks of New York."] © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
A pleasant date recorded in late 1962 with South American musicians the Bossa Rio Sextet of Brazil. Cannonball is heard alongside Sergio Mendes on piano, future Weather Report percussionist Dom Um Romao, and featured on five cuts is Paulo Moura on alto saxophone with Pedro Paulo on trumpet. This session was originally released on Riverside, but Adderley took several master tapes (including this one) when he made his move to Capitol. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Cannonball Plays Zawinul represents the exquisite fruits of the musical relationship between saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and pianist/composer Joe Zawinul. Recorded between 1961 and 1971, all cuts were either written or co-written by Zawinul, and, except for one piece ("Dr. Honorus Causa"), he also serves as part of the various combos. All of the work here remains loose but nonetheless retains a sparkling intensity. The longer cuts, in particular, show a group of musicians searching out the free parameters of post-bop without ever drifting off into space. Both "74 Miles Away" and "Money in the Pocket," 14 and ten minutes respectively, maintain strong central themes, filled with rhythm and melody, while allowing Adderley, Zawinul, drummer Roy McCurdy, bassist Victor Gaskin, and cornetist Nat Adderley lots of elasticity to develop their ideas. While most of these pieces were recorded in the mid-'60s and provide the album with a certain unity, a wide aesthetic gap exists between 1961's straightforward "One Man's Dream" and 1971's adventurous "Dr. Honorus Causa." So in one way, Cannonball Plays Zawinul provides a portrait of two artists who kept reaching beyond the obvious to find their muse. The album is an adventurous and thrilling document, sure to please fans of both players and anyone who enjoys challenging post-bop. © Ronnie D. Lankford Jr. /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
The "Poll-Winners" at the time of this recording were Adderley, guitarist Wes Montgomery and bassist Ray Brown; together with Victor Feldman doubling on piano and vibes and drummer Louis Hayes they cut this excellent quintet date. This was the only meeting on records by Adderley and Montgomery and, although not quite a classic encounter, the music (highlighted by "The Chant," "Never Will I Marry" and two takes of "Au Privave") swings hard and is quite enjoyable. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1955 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (nicknamed for his estimable appetite, related to high school friends who called him a cannibal) made his debut in the jazz world with this album, with enormous help from Quincy Jones, who assembled the band, lent arrangements, and composed many of the selections. It's clear from the outset that Adderley's main influences were Benny Carter and Charlie Parker, and he was able to synthesize both icons into a sound that was so seamless, and tasteful like butter. This little big band of all-stars included brother Nat Adderley on cornet, and a band with slight personnel changes over three separate recording sessions in the late summer of 1955. Adderley could hardly go wrong working with heavyweights like J.J. Johnson, Cecil Payne, Jerome Richardson, Jimmy Cleveland, Paul Chambers, pianist John Williams, and either Max Roach or Kenny Clarke playing the drum kit. To play original compositions penned by another on a first effort is a bold step, but it works well and expresses great trust between the soloist and ostensible producer. Of the pieces contributed by Jones, "Hurricane Connie" is the simplest but most impressive track with all five horns playing together in hard bop accord, "Fallen Feathers" reflects the Count Basie/Kansas City approach to modern jazz, while "Willow" is the lightest song in a modal calypso, showing the most arranged construct. Jones and Adderley collaborated writing "Cannonball," but it's mostly a solo for the alto saxophonist over the well-swung nonet, and "Everglade" is an effortless, glossy, ting-ting Latin chart as Adderley expresses his voice in a slightly vocal vibrato. Of the standards, there's a cover of the swing standard "Rose Room" where Adderley's alto meshes more with the other horn players, "The Song Is You" has the leader stepping forward asserting his song style voicings, and "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" has a unique chamber-style arrangement. Nothing on the album screams as a standout, but there's an even-keeled consonance that is very enjoyable, and lingers to the point where you want to listen again and again. That enduring quality makes this recording special, and set the bar high for what Adderley would produce through a long and fruitful career as a jazz master. This album is the seed for that field of flowers. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
It would have been hard for Cannonball Adderley to follow up the stunning Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! with anything quite as strong or inspired. This set follows the exact same M.O. Producer David Axelrod invited a group of friends into the Capitol studios, supplied them with free booze, warmed them up, and brought out the band (the same lineup: bassist Victor Gaskin, drummer Ron McCurdy, pianist Joe Zawinul, cornetist Nat Adderley, and Cannonball on alto) to tear into a group of covers and originals. The better moments here include the Latin-tinged "I'm on My Way" (written by Nat and featuring a beautifully lyrical solo by him) and a cool little read of the Pops Staples tune the album is titled for (featuring a killer little Rhodes piano part by Zawinul with a mournful dual head by Cannonball and Nat). The other hard groover is Nat's "The Other Side," which takes the outside track in Cannonball's solo. Zawinul's tunes are starkly more original in contrast -- particularly "One for Newk" -- but sound less inspired somehow. The album doesn't quite live up to its predecessor, but it is a burner and Adderley fans are likely to want to own it. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 16, 2005 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Following suit with several other great jazz soloists, Cannonball Adderley teamed with Oliver Nelson and a star-studded 18-piece big band plus percussionists for this program of big-band-coerced modern post-bop. Brother Nat Adderley joins Cannonball, in many instances playing tandem lines, while the alto saxophonist plays solos on many of these selections, all originals written by a variety of authors. If you remember Cannonball Adderley's first album in collaboration with Quincy Jones, you can easily correlate the similarities between the two recordings. The difference is that because of the larger choice of composers, the music has a larger palette, but not necessarily one that is focused. Bop is the central character, as heard during the title track in its truly collaborative sound and the exceptional track "Gon Gong," based in a two-note vehicle that supports the alto saxophonist and the horn section. Both Adderley brothers play together quite a bit on head melodies, with the exotic, self-explanatory "Introduction to a Samba" and the boppish "Interlude" as the best examples. Getting more into the Latin bit, "Shake a Lady" simmers slowly in a hip and sexy Afro-Cuban cha-cha, while "Cyclops," despite the unwieldy title, is a typical soul-jazz number that Nelson regularly doled out, with counterpointed brass and woodwinds battling it out. While not an essential or pivotal recording in Cannonball Adderley's career, Domination is one of his few big-band joint efforts, an intriguing studio-produced sidebar in his otherwise stellar discography. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Cannonball Adderley only recorded once as a leader for Blue Note, but this sampler manages to cover most of his prime years. There are cuts taken from the Riverside catalog ("Au Privave" with Wes Montgomery, "Sack O' Woe" and "Gemini"), plus Adderley's big Capitol hit "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "One for Daddy-O" (taken from the Blue Note set with Miles Davis as a sideman), and a previously unreleased "Bohemia After Dark" from 1966. The latter (a hot uptempo version taken from a Japanese concert) will drive completists mad, since they will undoubtedly already own all of the rest of the material. For beginners, this is an excellent overview of the exuberant altoist's bop-oriented years, before he gradually switched to funkier sounds. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
While Cannonball Adderley is a fine and well-known alto saxophonist, his equal partner on Live Session!, vocalist Ernie Andrews, is a more obscure figure. Andrews recorded frequently during the late '40s and throughout the '50s, but retained a lower profile during the '60s. That's one reason why Live Session!, recorded in 1964, is such a special work. Backed by Adderley, cornetist Nat Adderley, pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes, Andrews' warm, rich vocals offer lovely interpretations of an even dozen songs. The material cuts a wide swath across non-jazz genres, from the bluesy "Next Time I See You," to the popular "Since I Fell for You," to the fun nonsense of "Green Door." Although the instrumental work takes a backseat to the vocals, both Adderleys find room to offer pithy solos that spice up the proceedings. The accompaniment is an active one, too, with intricate piano and horns highlighting and underlining Andrews as needed. Interestingly, the songs were recorded live on two different dates, two years apart. The album nonetheless flows as a piece. Three tracks, "Come on Back," "Work Song," and "Green Door" have been added to the 2004 reissue, providing yet another reason to pick up Live Session! © Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr. /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Cannonball Adderley's mega-successful album Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!, released in August of 1966, was supposedly recorded "live" at a venue in Chicago called The Club, but it was actually recorded in the studio of Capitol Records with a specially assembled audience. For those who wonder what they really sounded like at that venue, Money in the Pocket contains unreleased live recordings of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet at The Club in Chicago on March 19 and 20, 1966. The only pieces officially released were edited 45-rpm single versions of "The Sticks," "Money in the Pocket," "Hear Me Talkin' to Ya," and "Cannon's Theme." This 2005 reissue restores those tracks to their original full lengths while adding "Introduction to a Samba," "Requiem for a Jazz Musician," "Fiddler on the Roof," and a nice version of "Stardust." Cannonball employed the same excellent band as heard on the Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! album -- cornetist Nat Adderley, keyboardist Joe Zawinul, drummer Roy McCurdy -- with the exception of bassist Herbie Lewis, who replaced Victor Gaskin. Any Cannonball Adderley fan will want to own this. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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