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Album Review

The lineup on this mid-'50s Cannonball Adderley date is like some kind of hard bop dream team: the alto sax legend is teamed up with brother Nat on cornet, Donald Byrd on trumpet, Jerome Richardson on tenor sax and a rhythm section consisting of drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Paul Chambers; Horace Silver handles most of the piano chores, while Hank Jones sits in on two tracks. Adderley plays beautifully throughout; note especially the rhythmic tension he sets up as he plays straight eighths over the melody on "With Apologies to Oscar." Horace Silver is at the top of his form as well, and seems to be having fun throwing around veiled Monk references. The trumpet/cornet solo on "Bohemia After Dark," however, sounds tired and hesitant. Unfortunately, the sound quality of this disc varies (sometimes within a single track) more than it should for a recording of this vintage, and the disc's 35-minute length is another annoyance. But the weight of great performances by Adderley, Silver and the infallible Clarke/Chambers axis, combined with the disc's attractive price, make it a solid value. Highly recommended.


Born: 15 September 1928 in Tampa, FL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

One of the great alto saxophonists, Cannonball Adderley had an exuberant and happy sound that communicated immediately to listeners. His intelligent presentation of his music (often explaining what he and his musicians were going to play) helped make him one of the most popular of all jazzmen. Adderley already had an established career as a high school band director in Florida when, during a 1955 visit to New York, he was persuaded to sit in with Oscar Pettiford's group at the Cafe Bohemia. His...
Full bio

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