Nat Adderley (brother of the legendary Cannonball) took up the trumpet in 1946 and switched to the cornet in 1950. He played with Lionel Hampton and other jazz greats before joining forces with his brother's quintet in 1959. On these two recordings, you'll hear him performing songs written by Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock and Joe Zawinul (Weather Report). Hancock and Zawinul lend support as sessionmen, as do Joe Henderson, J.J. Johnson, Ernie Royal and others.
2 LPs on 1 CD: SAYIN' SOMETHIN' (1966)/LIVE AT MEMORY LANE (1967).
Includes liner notes by Les Carter.
Personnel: Nat Adderley (trumpet); Jimmy Wisner (conductor); Seldon Powell, Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Artie Kaplan (baritone saxophone); Ernie Royal (trumpet); J.J. Johnson (trombone); Paul Griffin, Herbie Hancock, John Asbury (piano); Al Gorgoni, Billy Suyker (guitar); George Duvivier, Bob Cranshaw (bass); Herb Lovelle, Roy McCurdy (drums); George Devens (percussion).
Originally released on Atlantic (1460).
LIVE AT MEMORY LANE:
Personnel: Nat Adderley (trumpet); Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Joe Zawinul (piano); Victor Gaskin (bass); Roy McCurdy (drums).
Recorded live at Memory Lane, Los Angeles, California. Originally released on Atlantic (1474).
Personnel: Nat Adderley (trumpet); Al Gorgoni, Bill Suyker (guitar); Joe Henderson, Seldon Powell (tenor saxophone); Artie Kaplan (baritone saxophone); Ernie Royal (trumpet); J.J. Johnson (trombone); John Asbury, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Paul Griffin (piano); Roy McCurdy, Herb Lovelle (drums); George Devens (percussion).
Recording information: Memory Lane, Los Angeles, CA.
Arrangers: Jimmy Wisner; Nat Adderley.
Cornetist Nat Adderley is in fine form on this compilation of three sessions originally released in 1966 and 1967. The earlier set, Sayin' Somethin', consists of arrangements for a small horn section and, more interestingly, some quintet performances with pianist Herbie Hancock and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. Adderley, with a tone variously burnished, buttery, or blistering, makes the most of the larger group setting, but the arrangements of the pop song "Call Me" and Duke Ellington's "Satin Doll" are a tad corny. "Walls of Jericho" threatens to dip into similar territory before finding a good minor-blues groove. The tracks, with Hancock and Henderson, including a version of Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island" that compares well with the pianist's own, make up for the set's earlier shortcomings. Bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Roy McCurdy contribute effectively to the authoritative hard bop vibe. Henderson is again in the front line with Adderley for the Live at Memory Lane set. The music, which is in a more advanced hard bop vein than the earlier tracks, is well served by the rhythm section on loan from Cannonball Adderley's quintet: McCurdy, bassist Victor Gaskin, and pianist Joe Zawinul. While it doesn't seem to concern the enthusiastic audience at the Los Angeles club, listeners at home may find one or two of the tracks a bit rambling. Regardless, the set is worthwhile for the presence of Henderson, Zawinul's original pieces, Adderley's own contributions, and for the work of a rhythm section that was part of brother Cannonball's own considerable success during this period. ~ Jim Todd