An inexpensive through frustratingly brief overview of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's '60s tenure at Capitol Records, GREATEST HITS is a fine introduction to the alto saxophonist's soul-jazz era. "Mercy Mercy Mercy," a powerfully bluesy groove powered by some of Adderley's most impassioned playing, was an unexpected Top-20 hit in 1967. It's one of the few jazz chart hits of the rock era and easily the most exciting of that small number.
The rest of the disc, including the excellent "Jive Samba" and "Country Preacher," the title track from Adderley's phenomenal 1969 LP, is nearly as strong. Sidemen include Adderley's cornetist brother Nat and electric pianist Joe Zawinul, both of whom went on to lead their own bands in the '70s.