1. Autumn Leaves
2. Love For Sale
3. Somethin' Else
4. One For Daddy-O
5. Dancing In The Dark
6. Our Delight
7. What's New
8. Fuller Bop Man
10. Stay On It
11. If I Love Again
12. Straight, No Chaser
1. Work Song
2. Dat Dere
3. Easy Living
4. Del Sasser
7. Them Dirty Blues
8. This Here
9. Spontaneous Combustion
Julian "Cannonball' Adderley - Alto sax
Sam Jones - Bass
Miles Davis - Trumpet (tracks I/1-5)
Hank Jones - Piano (tracks I/1-5)
Art Blakey - Drums (tracks I/1-5)
Nat Adderley - Cornet (tracks I/6-12, II/1-10)
Junior Mance - Piano (tracks I/6-12)
Jimmy Cobb - Drums (tracks I/6-12)
Bobby Timmons - Piano (tracks II/2, 4, 6, 8-10)
Barry Harris - Piano (tracks II/1, 3, 5, 7)
Louis Hayes - Drums (tracks II/1-10)
Avid Records once again offer a double album at bargain price comprising three LPs plus some extra tracks. All the material was recorded early in Cannonball Adderley's career: between 1958 and 1960. The first five tracks come from 1958's Somethin' Else, where Miles Davis made an appearance which reciprocated Cannonball's membership of Miles's quintet, which went on to make the ground-breaking Kind of Blue the following year.
If you objectively compare the two musicians on this album, Miles Davis's faltering minimalistic style was overshadowed by Adderley's fluent outpouring of ideas. Adderley had already honed his technique to perfection and had become something like a Charlie Parker for the masses, because his music was somehow easier to take in than Parker's more complex lines. Like Parker, his playing was strongly influenced by the blues, as you can hear on a track like Dancing in the Dark. Sadly, this collection omits extra tracks which were included on some CD reissues of the album (see my review of one of the longer versions at: http://www.musicweb-international.com/jazz/2010/Cannonball_Adderley_PWR27212.htm).
The second LP is Cannonball's Sharpshooters, which has Cannonball's brother, the cornettist Nat Adderley, sharing the front line. The two brothers always seemed comfortable in one another's company and they are supported by the excellent rhythm section of Junior Mance, Sam Jones and Jimmy Cobb. This LP starts with a storming Out Delight and continues to swing with hardly a let-up. Such ballads as What's New exemplify Adderley's ability to play with passionate intensity.
The second CD in this set starts with Them Dirty Blues, a 1960 album which contained some of the Adderleys' most enduring material, such as Work Song and Dat Dere (the latter being Bobby Timmons's follow-up to his earlier This Here - or Dis Here). The LP was well-named, as it displays the Adderleys' move into bluesy funk which had a wide public appeal - and was unfairly criticised by some reviewers for the very reason that it was popular! The bass and drums of Sam Jones and Louis Hayes ensured a strong beat. Jeannine typifies the simple but effective structures that Cannonball favoured, with a melodic theme and underlying riff. And Nat's muted playing in Soon shows that he was not far beyond Miles Davis in expressiveness.
The last three tracks in this compilation come from In San Francisco, a live album from 1959 which shows how Cannonball communicated with an audience and won them over. Like his alto sax playing, he transmits warmth and friendliness. His introduction to This Here refers to the fact that it is both a waltz and like a piece of soulful church music ("I don't mean Bach chorales").
The recordings have been remastered but there is still some fuzziness in the last three tracks. Yet this collection is well worth getting, at least as a reminder of the way that the Adderleys put soul into jazz at a time when others were going way out - perhaps too far out for many audiences to appreciate.