Julian Cannonball Adderley

Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley (September 15, 1928 - August 8, 1975), originally from Tampa, Florida was a jazz saxophonist of the small combo era of the 1950s and 1960s. In contradistinction to other renowned alto saxophonists, who play with a sharper or more incisive tone and phrasing, such as Jackie McLean or Ornette Coleman, Adderley's phrasing and tone are exuberant, and ebullient.

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Cannonball Adderley

Cannonball was a local legend in Florida until he moved to New York in 1955. He joined the Miles Davis sextet in 1957, around the time that Sonny Rollins left the band. He played with one of the most legendary groups of all time on the record Milestones in 1958, which featured the likes of John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones and Red Garland. His duelling with tenor saxophonist Coltrane on the track 'Straight No Chaser' is notable of Cannonball's imitation of Coltrane's sheets of sound approach. Cannonball gained national attention after appearing with Davis, John Coltrane, and other jazz giants on Kind of Blue, one of the best-selling and most highly regarded jazz albums in history.

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet featured Cannonball on alto sax and his brother Nat Adderley on cornet. Adderley's first quintet was not that successful. However, after leaving Miles Davis' group, he reformed another, again with his brother, which enjoyed quite a bit more success.The Quintet and other combos included such noted musicians as pianists Bobby Timmons, Victor Feldman and Joe Zawinul (later of Weather Report), Art Blakey, Sam Jones, Charles Lloyd and Yusef Lateef. The group was noteworthy for achieving crossover success without making artistic concessions.

The nickname "Cannonball" was a corruption of "cannibal", a childhood nickname for the portly saxophonist. An articulate speaker with an easy manner, Cannonball educated, amused, and informed his audiences in clubs and on television about the art and moods of jazz (he was a music teacher before beginning his jazz career).

By the 1960s, Adderley's playing began to reflect the influence of the jazz avant-garde.

Songs made famous by Cannonball and his bands include 'This Here' (written by Bobby Timmons), 'The Jive Samba', 'Work Song' (written by Nat Adderley) and 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy' (written by Joe Zawinul).

On his passing in 1975, Cannonball Adderley was interred in the Southside Cemetery in Tallahassee, Florida.

Joe Zawinul's composition "Cannon Ball" (recorded on Weather Report's album Black Market) is a tribute to his former employer.


As a leader

  • Somethin' Else (1958) - with Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Sam Jones, Art Blakey
  • Jazz at the Lighthouse
  • Quintet in San Francisco (1959)
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (1966)
  • Them Dirty Blues
  • Know What I Mean? (1961) - with Bill Evans
  • The Country Preacher
  • Accent On Africa
  • Soul Zodiac
  • 74 Miles Away
  • Inside Straight

Miles Davis

  • Milestones (1958)
  • Newport '58 (1958)
  • Jazz at the Plaza (1958)
  • Porgy and Bess (1958)
  • Kind of Blue (1959)

External links

fr:Julian Cannonball Adderley he:קנונבול_אדרלי


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