Album Reviews

Cannonball Adderly Quintet

Music, You All

Artist:     Cannonball Adderly Quintet

Album:     Music, You All

Label:     Real Gone Music

Release Date:     05/06/2016


Saxophonist Cannonball Adderly may not solicit the same scope of majesty as many of his peers (Miles, ‘Trane, Wayne Shorter), but just try defining the jazz era he jubilantly blew through (50’s -70’s) without him. Imagine how such esteemed, essential recordings as Davis’ Milestones, Porgy and Bess, and Kind of Blue would sound like without his sweet horn. Imagine the world without the bluesy redemption of 1966’s Top 40 single “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.” So many kudos to Real Gone for getting these two funky and soulful discs out of the dust bins and back into the real world where they belong.

Taken from the same August ’71 Troubadour recordings that produced Adderly’s ever eminent The Black Messiah and released a year after his fatal stroke (at the age of 46 in ’75) Music, You All is a prime slice of spontaneous blues/funk/soul/free form/space fusion if ever there was one.

“The Brakes” opens the show on a fiery note. Having just left Zappa, pianist George Duke adds the space on “Capricorn.” Adderly was a stage natural and his raps about the music and the quintet (brother Nat-coronet, drummer Roy McCurdy, bassist Walter Booker) are as entertaining and endearing as the music.

Equally spontaneous and wildly sprawling in musical ambition, The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free features a September 1970 performance (with keyboardist Joe Zawinul) from the Monterey Jazz Festival and various live in studio tracks to try and capture the vast musical picture Cannonball always sought to create. Highlights include: “Rumplestiltskin,” “Inquisition,” “Painted Desert,” and “Directions.”

– Mike Jurkovic

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