"Stras Fell on
Cannonball Adderley Alto
Sax, Joe Zawinul Piano, Sam
Jones Bass, Roy McCurdy Drums
"The Little Boy with
The Sad Eyes, Midnight Mood,Fiddle on the Roof"
Alto Sax, Nat Adderley Cornet,
Joe Zawinul Piano, Sam Jones
Bass, Roy McCurdy Drums
"Work Song, The Song My
Lady Sing, Unit Seven"
Cannonball Adderley Alto
Sax, Nat Adderley Cornet, Charles
Lloyd Tenor Sax, Joe Zawinul Piano,
Sam Jones Bass, Louis Hayes
- In the CD inlay as the recording date is mentioned: last week of December
1967 / first week of January 1968. However Charles Lloyd left Cannonball
Adderley in 1965 and never performed with him again.
There is a tradition of live azz
on the radio in New York that goes bock mare than fifty years.
From the big band remotes of the 30s through Symphony Sid's
broadcasts from Birdland in the 40s and 50s up to today's
American Jazz Radio Festival, heard over WBGO/FM, there is always
some live jazz somewhere on the New York radio dial.
In the late sixties, jazz disc jockey Alan Grant did a series of
live broadcasts from the legendary Half Note. The club was owned
and operated by the Canterino family and was the kind of place
musicians loved to play. Whoever was appearing at the club that
week would do Grant's live remote an Monday night. Fortunately,
he taped many of his broadcasts and saved some incredible music,
including these great performances by Cannonball Adderley, from
permanent exile into the ether.
The bulk of the music on this record comes from two separate
broadcasts. One of the shows occurred in the last week of 1967
and the other is from the first week in 1968. There are
performances by two of Cannon's best groups, the Quintet (Sam
Jones, Louis Hayes, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, Joe
Zawinul) and the Sextet (Roy McCurdy, Charles Lloyd, Joe Zawinul,
Sam Jones, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley). The montage at the
end of the record is from Todd Barkan's club, Keystone Korner, in
San Francisco. Both of these clubs are gone now, but they were in
their day, home to some of the best jazz ever.
Had he just been the consummate saxophonist that he was, it would
have been a major accomplishment. But Cannon was more. He was an
entertainer, raconteur, political animal, composer, talent scout,
teacher and pupil. He was exceptionally bright and witty and had
a deceptively even facade, on and off stage, that belied his
As fortunate as Night Records has been in finding this music,
we're equally excited about having access to a series of
interviews with Cannonball done by Chicago writer, Judy Smith.
Smith is in the process of writing a biography of Cannon and was
kind enough to allow us to use excerpts from those interviews as
part of these notes. Hopefully, through the words of his friends
and family, you'll get a broader picture of an uncommomly gifted
artist. Here he is remembered by his fellow musicians, and
especially by his immediate family - his brother Nat, Nat's wife
Anne, and Cannon's wife Olga.
One of the things, especially with Cannon, one of the things that
was against us was that we came from what can be described as a
middle class family. We were not poor, and we did not crawl up
out of the ghetto, or puIl ourselves up by the bootstraps. Our
parents were both college graduates, both were teachers, which is
an honorable profession although it's not a very rich one. And we
came to New York, both with college degrees, at a time when most
people couldn't even read music. That didn't sit well with some
critics. For a long time we had trouble with acceptance because
we were not drug-crazed people who got screwed up and did crazy
things. We were very normal. We didn't came to New York to join
that scene, so it set us apart. We worked instinctively together.
Having grown up playing together, in many ways we were one as
performers. We could almost anticipate the phrasing and harmonies
of the other. It was a sad day for us when our band broke up in
1956. We always intended to get it back together. Although Cannon
was honored to play with Miles Davis and John Coltrane in that
landmark band, he never lost sight of his goal to reform the
quintet and record his own material.
Although our mother's religious roots were more deeply southers,
we were raised in the religion of our father, whose family
brought their Anglican (Episcopalian) religion with them from the
British Bahamas. As a result, we did not grow up with the
intensely soulful, gospel-oriented music one might think from
listening to our recordings. The music of the Anglican church
tends to be highly stylized, formal. We did walk past juke joints
on our way to school, and we could hear T.Bone Walker, B B King,
and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson on the box. Jackie Byard
was stationed in Florida. He and Trummy Young took us to a juke
joint where we heard the music of Bird and Dizzy. We were blown
away. This was the forties, and be-bop was so hot and innovative,
it was blowing all the musicians away. Also we lived across the
street from the Tabernacle Baptist Church, and were fascinated by
the gospel rocking that came from that church, especially
compared to our awn. And at home we listened to music in a more
legitimate vein, Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson.
Cannonball was like my mentor, in a sense, and yet he was like a
child of mine in another sense. Cannon would come in and give me
his money to manage better than Nat did. I'd give him an
allowance and he'd come in and borrow money all the time. He was
always needing five dollars. I don't know how we would have made
it without Cannonball. He loved Nat so much and he always took
care of him like his little brother, and I was his little sister.
And yet like I say, Cannonball was a big pussycat himself, a big
He was disciplined as an artist. I think that Julian had a
certain overview. I don't think he was disciplined about money,
or as careful in those areas, because I don't think they meant as
much to him. He wasn't disciplined about his appetite. But I also
think that Julian may have thought that there was no point in
being disciplined because of his health problems. I think that
Julian was determined fo have as much of life as possible. He had
on-going dental problems, and everytime Julian had to go through
a change in his embouchure and adjust his playing, it really
messed up his mind. Because his identity, his concept of self,
was tied up in what he did. He was vulnerable too and I didn't
want anyone messing with him. Under all of the words, and under
all of the assurances, under all of the competence, in some areas
he had a vulnerability that he didn't want anyone to stomp on.
He wasn't threatened at all having another sax player on the
stand. I can remember Julian coming home during that period (63
to 68) and saying how wonderful things were with the band. Julian
thought about music, but he didn't practice at home. He'd write
music at home and we listened to music at home and one of the
things that I used to see was that he'd get up in the middle of
the night. I could see that he roamed or that he had gone to his
desk and worked on something. But he told me that they did their
practice in the clubs and on the stand. That he thought it
. Early on they did a concert at Carnegie Hall and they asked him
to play solo on an orchestrated number, "Somewhere"
from West Side Story. And Julian didn't practice and he came home
and knew that he had to do that, and he thought and thought
it. It was one of the most wonderful things I ever heard him do.
And eventually, he recorded it, but the first time, Julian didn't
rehearse. He came home and thought it, thought about the music.
I didn't listen to the radio far two years after his death. After
he died it was so painful to turn on the radio and hear him by
accident. I just totally did not listen to the jazz or pop
stations for two years. And I think that when he'd been dead a
couple of years, "Big Man" came out and that was all
right. Then I could hear the music again without freaking out.
There was an affection between the Adderley brothers that was
beautiful to see. it would warm your heart. They respected and
cared for each other so much. It was joyous to watch them, to
listen to them talk to each other, to see them look at each
other. And Cannonball extened that warmth to me and those others
in the band. He was a wonderful human being as well an artist.
Cannonball told me he was teaching school in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida at the time he heard about Charlie Parker's demise. At
that moment he said to himself, "Well, now I can go to New
York." It was within months after Bird died that he went to
We were working a lot, we were travelling by car then,
we weren't flying. It wos really close knit. Everybody loved each
other. Like a family, friends, we used to fight like a family, we
did everything. We travelled in these two station wagons across
the country, hack and forth. I miss the band, I do. I miss
Cannon, I miss the fun that we all had all the time. I miss
everything that was going on. Spontaneity! When we went on the
stand with Cannon we never knew what we were going to play. We'd
just go up look at the audience, he could tell right away what
they would love and what they wouldn't like and things like that,
and we hit from there. And usually, 90% of the time it was right
on the money.
He always had a cigarette between his fingers but he played so
fast and powerful and so great.. .and I never heard him stumble.
And then he had this gift to talk to the people in a very
nonchalant and yet informative way about many things. We used to
kill people; the band was really on FIRE !
Julian described his music better than anyone I have ever known.
He mode you impatient to hear the music because he described it
so beautifully. His concept of the music coupled with his command
of the English language made people understand what was going on
Phil Woods (describing the first time Cannonball
played in New York)
We were all Bird's children, I guess. Jackie
McLean come to me one night. He says, "Come with me."
He was working the Cafe Bohemia. He was the opening act for Oscar
Pettiford's big band. And he said, "Come over and check this
out ". I walked in and it was Cannonball's first night in
town. It's the night he sat in. And I remember Jackie and I were
in the back listening to this son of a bitch play the saxophone
like no human being had played it before. He was superb. And I
remember, I looked at Jackie and Jackie looked at me, and at the
same time we both said, "Oh shit !"
These performances by Cannon
were recorded in the last week of 1967 and the first week of 1968
by Alan Grant at the old Half Note in New York City His vision in
recording and preserving this music and his kindness in bringing
it to our attention is much appreciated. We'd also like to thank
the Canterino family, who owned and operated the Half Note, for
their cooperation in the release of this material. Finally, a
special thanks to Michael Cuscuna and Bruce Lundvall of blue Note
Records and Bob Young of Capitol Records, for their help in
securing the clearances necessary for the release of this
material. Cannon was under contract to Capitol at the time of