- Released: March 26, 1991
- Originally Released: 1991
- Label: Blue Note Records
- 1.Work Song
- 2.The Jive Samba
- 3.Fiddler On The Roof
- 4.Mercy Mercy Mercy
- 5.Why Am I Treated So Bad
- 6.Walk Tall
- 7.74 Miles Away
- 8.Country Preacher
Personnel: Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Yuseff Lateef, Charles Lloyd (tenor saxophone); Nat Adderley (cornet); Joe Zawinul (piano); Victor Gaskin, Walter Booker, Sam Jones (bass); Louis Hayes, Roy McCordy (drums).
Producers: Orrin Keepnews, David Axelrod.
Compilation producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded between August 1962 and October 1969.
BEST OF THE CAPITOL YEARS is an odd compilation, largely because two of its eight lengthy tracks come from sessions where the alto saxophonist was a sideman, not the bandleader. That said, Yusef Lateef's "Work Song" and "Fiddler on the Roof" feature exceptional Adderley solos, and Lateef's brand of groove-oriented soul jazz slots in nicely with Adderley's similar yet unique version of this under-appreciated '60s sub-genre.
A precursor to jazz-rock fusion, soul jazz takes off from Ray Charles' jazz sides of the '50s, melding gospel music's call-and-response, fluid and percussive grooves, and solos alternately laid-back and fiery. Because Adderley's background was in hard bop rather than cool jazz, his Capitol sides often have a burning intensity missing from many other soul-jazz recordings. The style's pinnacle is "Mercy Mercy Mercy," one of the few jazz songs to hit Top 40 in the rock era and the clear highlight of this collection.