Cannonball Adderley Takes Charge
In 1963 Julian “Cannonball” Adderley moved from the Riverside label, where he had recorded some fifteen albums of material, to Capitol Records, where he would find some of his greatest success. Cannonball Adderley Takes Charge presents one of seven master tapes that Capitol acquired along with Adderley himself. Produced by Orrin Keepnews, the recording presents Adderley in spring of 1959. He is accompanied throughout by pianist Wynton Kelly, one of jazz music’s most tasteful and empathetic sidemen, as well as a swinging soloist. On four tracks bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb sit in, while the final five selections find brothers Percy and Albert Heath filling those roles.
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Julian “Cannonball” Adderley burst upon the jazz scene in 1955, sitting in with Oscar Pettiford’s group at the Bohemia in New York and almost instantly being hailed as the “new Bird”. While Adderley had certainly listened to and incorporated Charlie Parker’s work into his playing by this time, the foundation for his funky, graceful alto style came from careful listening to the work of Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter, as well as tenor players like Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and, of course, Lester Young.
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Cannonball Adderley encouraged Joe Zawinul to write for his band, and was receptive to the progressive sounds that Zawinul came up with. The result was a musical partnership that was truly inspired. Needless to say, Adderley’s band recorded a large number of Zawinul compositions, and on Cannonball Plays Zawinul, the composer/pianist himself chooses the tunes to be included.
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