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Jazz - Released January 1, 1900 | BnF Collection

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1959 | Verve Reissues

This exciting session consists of the 1959 edition of The Miles Davis Sextet minus its leader, though it was later reissued as Cannonball & Coltrane, as there was evidence that both men had considerable input into the date. A brisk "Limehouse Blues" features great exchanges between the saxophonists, while Adderley's soulful "Wabash" is more easygoing. This newly remastered CD is a distinct improvement over the earlier retitled reissue. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1959 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

This exciting session consists of the 1959 edition of The Miles Davis Sextet minus its leader, though it was later reissued as Cannonball & Coltrane, as there was evidence that both men had considerable input into the date. A brisk "Limehouse Blues" features great exchanges between the saxophonists, while Adderley's soulful "Wabash" is more easygoing. This newly remastered CD is a distinct improvement over the earlier retitled reissue. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1960 | Riverside

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Hot on the heels of session work with Miles Davis and his Kind of Blue-era group, alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley recorded this excellent live date with his brother, cornetist Nat Adderley, along with pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes. The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco defined the accessible, yet technically challenging, soul-jazz that Adderley would be associated with for the rest of his career. The warm, exuberant feel of the quintet is especially evident on the set's two finest tracks -- a spirited take on Randy Weston's "Hi-Fly," and on Timmons' swinging "This Here." Two of Adderley's own compositions, "Spontaneous Combustion" and "You Got It!," blend blazing post-bop dexterity with pulsing, infectious blues structures. Both Cannonball and Nat Adderley play with stunning, bluesy brilliance here, while the rhythm section ably anchors the proceedings. Outside of Somethin' Else, Adderley's 1958 masterpiece, In San Francisco may be the saxophonist's defining moment. © Anthony Tognazzini /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | BnF Collection

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | BnF Collection

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Jazz - Released February 28, 1961 | Original Jazz Classics

The music on African Waltz is better than it should be. Cannonball Adderley had a fluke hit with "African Waltz," so a full album was recorded with the hopes of coming up with additional hits. These 11 selections (which include "African Waltz") feature altoist Adderley backed by an 18-piece big band with arrangements provided by Ernie Wilkins and Bob Brookmeyer. The tunes clock in between two and five minutes and leave little room for much improvising by anyone other than Cannonball, his brother Nat on cornet, and pianist Wynton Kelly. There is some strong material on the set (including "West Coast Blues," "Stockholm Sweetnin'" and a remake of "This Here"), but the results are not too substantial and this was not that big a seller but it is still a reasonably enjoyable effort. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | BnF Collection

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | BnF Collection

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Jazz - Released February 18, 1967 | Stateside

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1968 | EMI Catalogue

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1968 | EMI Catalogue

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. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 13, 1969 | Stateside

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1970 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
The Reverend Jesse Jackson gives an inspiring brief speech to open the festivities, and the Quintet begins with "Walk Tall," a lively jazz/R&B number. Named in honor of Jackson "Country Preacher" and written by keyboardist Joe Zawinul, the changing tempo tribute has two contrasting grooves: one's sad and reflective, the other happy and boisterous. The album tributes Jacksons' Operation Breadbasket program in Chicago, IL. Nat Adderley composed "Hummin'," a masterfully executed piece; the Adderley brothers' stinging solo's are complemented by Zawinul's sparkling piano play. Bassist Walter Booker shines on "Oh Babe," a vamp that owes more to blues than jazz, and Cannonball sings the bluesy lyrics like he had too much to drink. "Afro Spanish Omelet" has four parts: "Umbakwen" written by Nat finds Cannoball's sax at it's inquisitive best. Booker solos the entire 3:03 seconds of "Soli Tomba." "Oiga" is Zawinul's best solo, and drummer Roy McCurdy plays like a disturbed man surrounding Zawinul's probing electric piano with some imaginative percussioning. Cannonball displays well-trained chops on "Marabi" as he battles with brother Nat's coronet. Jesse Jackson kicks off "The Scene" while Cannoball gives thanks and group introductions over a roadhouse groove. © Andrew Hamilton /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1970 | Stateside

Jazz was undergoing a sea change in 1970 thanks to Miles Davis' electronic and structural breakthroughs, and his former sideman, Cannonball Adderley, was right in the thick of things (the two leaders shared musicians and traded influences during this period). Like Miles, the Adderleys expanded their canvas to double-LPs -- this live album being the first of a series in the double-pocket format -- and each side would be organized into nearly continuous medleys. Not only that, Cannonball still had Joe Zawinul on board, who greatly altered the texture of Cannonball's music with his floating electric piano and science-fiction interludes with a ring modulator (this would be his last album with the Quintet). Roy Booker had replaced Victor Gaskin on upright bass, Still, Cannonball was a populist at heart, and his generosity of spirit shines through this often deliciously diverse album, which ranges wildly from flat-out soul and funky grooves to Brazilian music (Milton Nascimento's "Bridges") and even possesses a cautious toe dip into the avant-garde ("Out and In"). It endures as such a document, too, since parts of it have been sampled by J Dilla, Pharcyde, Kwest the Madd Ladd, and Funkdoobiest. Along the way, we hear vocals from both Adderleys (including an exceedingly rare yet oddly charming one from Cannon on Milton Nascimento's challenging "Bridges"), a stunningly touching Cannonball testament on soprano in "Some Time Ago," and alto solos that definitely show that Cannonball had absorbed the Coltrane vocabulary. Guest Nat Adderley, Jr.'s clichéd anti-Nixon sloganeering on the title tune is just that (granted, he was only 15 years old), but his presence testifies to the close-knit, liberal family atmosphere that Cannonball encouraged. He more than compensates for it with his funky acoustic guitar playing backing his father's vocal on "Down in the Black Bottom" (the B-side for the album's rousing single "Get Up Off Your Knees") while a gospel Rhodes piano testifies. Another notable track is Zawinul's modal "Painted Desert" in its first recorded (and most likely edited) version. The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free is a fascinating snapshot of the Quintet in transition. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 12, 1970 | Stateside

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Jazz - Released May 5, 1972 | Stateside

Of all the dates Cannonball Adderley cut with producer David Axelrod for Capitol, this 1972 set is the most unusual. Featuring three long jams and a short tune, this session is the sextet with Nat Adderley on cornet, Roy McCurdy on drums, George Duke playing acoustic piano and Rhodes, Walter Booker on bass, and Airto Moreira on percussion, with guests Flora Purim on vocals, guitarist David T. Walker, and percussionist King Errison. Bassist Chuck Rainey and vocal soloist Olga James help out on "Savior." This set was released just after Cannonball Adderley Quintet & Orchestra, but the vibe is completely different. Rather than focusing on hard bop, soul-jazz, or free bop jazz styles, Adderley concentrates most of his band's energy on Brazilian grooves in three of these four tunes. Played in front of a live (studio) audience, the vibe is celebratory, loose, raw, and inspired. From the opening moments of the title track, this group takes chances. The leader concentrates mostly on alto here, but he doesn't abandon soprano entirely. The vibe underneath the percolating Brazilian rhythms is defined and raucous. Purim's and Airto's singing is limited to a few of the tune's 11-plus minutes, but is rapturous. The reading of Milton Nascimento's "Maria Tres Filhos" is primo Brazilian jazz-funk; it offers fine solos in tandem by Cannonball, Nat, and Walker (maybe his best on record), with killer wah-wah piano by Duke atop the layers of percussion. Purim is at her improvisational finest near the end. Using a variation of the vamp from Miles Davis' "So What" (on which Cannonball originally played) as the tune's body, James delivers a vocal that weds modern classical and jazz. The horns begin to wind things out and Duke's spacy piano underscores them in a modal groove. By the time the tune concludes, it's in a very different place than where it began. Final number "ELA," written by Benito Di Paula, is based on layers of rhythm from drums and an astonishing array of percussion instruments, and tough acoustic piano. Purim's voice on the chorus is joyous, in contrast to Airto's more restrained yet breezy soulful lead vocal. At a shade over four minutes, it goes by in a blip to end this set. The Happy People is one of Adderley's most under-recognized offerings, but not because of quality. It stands out not only from his own catalog in its bracing, ambitious world-view, but from the wide swath of jazz fusion from the period. Its seamless integration of Brazil's rainbow of sounds with jazz and funk is visionary; it sounds as fresh in the 21st century as when it appeared. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1973 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
After seven years with Capitol, Cannonball Adderley switched labels to Fantasy where he reunited with producer Orrin Keepnews and the quality of his music immediately improved. With Hal Galper as the band's keyboardist (he contributed three of the seven group originals to this LP), this version of the Quintet (actually Sextet with the addition of percussionist King Errison) was more jazz-oriented than previously while remaining modern and funky. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1974 | Concord Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Cannonball Adderley is in generally good form on this 1974 recording. His Quintet at the time featured cornetist Nat Adderley, keyboardist Hal Galper, bassist Walter Booker and drummer Roy McCurdy. Guests on some selections include guitarist Phil Upchurch, keyboardist George Duke and (on "Bess, Oh Where's My Bess") veteran pianist Jimmy Jones. The emphasis is on recent group originals including the three part "Suite Cannon," two Galper compositions and Cannonball's "Pyramid." Nothing too earthshattering occurs but this is an improvement over many of Adderley's Capitol recordings. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 8, 1976 | Stateside

During Cannonball Adderley's tenure with Capitol Records, his Quintet cut 18 albums. Of those, at least ten were live. Whether captured in clubs, concert halls, or studios with invited audiences, the feel was spontaneous. Playing to a crowd brought out the best they had to offer without overdubs or other sweetening. Music, You All is a testament to that -- even if it is a bit of an anomaly. These performances were recorded at L.A.'s folk venue The Troubadour over seven nights in August 1971. In 1972, Capitol released the double-album The Black Messiah as their first fruit. After the saxophonist's death in 1975, producer David Axelrod -- who directed the engineers during recording -- went into the vaults and listened to the complete tapes from those shows. He compiled this collection, structured it as a top-to-bottom single gig, and the label released it to mark the one-year anniversary of Adderley's passing. It shouldn't be a surprise that in cherry-picking performances, Axelrod assembled one of the group's finest outings. The Quintet -- Cannonball and Nat Adderley (saxophones and cornet, respectively), bassist Walter Booker, electric pianist George Duke, and drummer Roy McCurdy -- was appended by saxophonist Ernie Watts, guitarist Mike Deasy, and percussionist Airto Moreira. Just under 50 minutes long, this album not only doesn't take a back seat to The Black Messiah, it is arguably stronger than its predecessor. "The Brakes," a hard bop number, opens. The head is blues-based, but Duke stacks modal chords in the backdrop. McCurdy's swing, whether syncopating or adding Latin tinges, gives Cannonball a fine foundation to solo from (he even quotes the Beatles' "Daytripper") and Nat follows superbly. Duke's classic, spacy, spiritual soul tune "Capricorn" is one of the album's best moments; his soloing and painterly backdrops bridge so many traditions it's tough to count them all. The hard soul-jazz vibe in "Walk Tall" (by Zawinul) gets greasy treatment thanks to Deasy's distorted wah-wah guitar, three vamping horns, Booker's driving, funky bassline, and Duke's middle-register percussive solo. "Oh, Babe" is a choogling jazz blues with Nat offering a silky smooth vocal as everybody else solos grittily. After a two-minute Cannonball rap -- erudite, witty, and hip, naturally -- the title track enters as a gentle but abstract improvisation between Airto, Nat, and Booker, then picks up steam as the band enters. First it shapeshifts into an incantatory modal electric jazz rock tune, then into a spiritual soul-jazz jam that caves under a screaming Deasy rock solo before concluding with straight-ahead, hard bop featuring a walking bassline and fingerpopping solos from both Adderleys. Axelrod delivers a great tribute to his friend on Music, You All. It reveals exactly who this band was during this juncture. All their rawness, interactive creativity, humor, and sophistication are captured at peak power. © Thom Jurek /TiVo