Cannonball Adderley for our last Downbeat session of 2017. Aided and abetted by brother Nat on horns, Joe Zawinul on keyboards, Victor Gaskin on bass and Roy McCurdy on drums – this concert, recorded at Stefaniensaal in Graz Austria on March 15, 1969. It was rebroadcast in 2011 by ORF, the Austrian Broadcasting network in Vienna.
Cannonball Adderley had a long and celebrated career and collaborated with some of great figures in the Jazz world. But unlike many of his contemporaries, Adderley had the extra added bonus of having a major crossover hit. The Jazz world knew very well about him, but the Pop world was just getting acquainted. The hit in question was a composition by band member Joe Zawinul; Mercy. Mercy, Mercy which became, not only a huge hit for Adderley, but was also covered by a vast number of Pop groups/ensembles including a vocal version by The Buckinghams. Thankfully, it wasn’t enough for Cannonball Adderley to drop his allegiance to Bop, but it did bring a number of new fans into the fold who might not have discovered him in the first place. He did however, branch out to embrace many genres within the Jazz idiom and this further spread his influence. This concert comes a few months ahead of his Country Preacher album for Capitol, which came out in October of that year. Cannonball Adderley’s recorded output is rather staggering – not only as leader, spanning a period of 1955 – 1975 (the year of his untimely death), but also as collaborator.
If you are just getting turned on to Cannball Adderley now, or are hearing this concert for the first time and are curious to know more – you can start just about anywhere and work your way forward or backward. He was one of the seminal figures in the Jazz world whose contributions were as big as the man himself. There’s a bunch to check out.
And that’s it for 2017.