Cannonball Adderley: Somethin' Else (Blue Note/Universal)

 |   |  1 min read

Cannonball Adderley: Dancing in the Dark
Cannonball Adderley: Somethin' Else (Blue Note/Universal)

The most commonly held opinion about this classic Blue Note album from 1958 by alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley -- his only album on the label -- is that he is outshone by his famous sideman Miles Davis (who wrote the bluesy title track).

That's not entirely true but -- because Adderley was in Davis' band at this time -- there's no doubt Davis is on excellent form and very much the equal partner on the session.

And it's quite some group anyway which has Hank Jones on piano, Sam Jones on bass and drummer Art Blakey.

These were powerful players and here all are at a particular peak. Adderley wasn't yet 30 and a year later he would be on Davis' Kind of Blue sessions alongside John Coltrane and Bill Evans, he was in that kind of league.

A couple of the tunes -- Cole Porter's Love For Sale and the standard Autumn Leaves -- would be regularly played by Davis' group at the time, and in fact the liner notes by Leonard Feather suggest Davis was responsible for some of the tune choices and their interpretation: Autumn Leaves from pianist Ahmad Jamal's treatment of it, Dancing in the Dark from the way Sarah Vaughan sang it.

Feather also notes what different musical backgrounds Adderley, Davis, Hank Jones and Blakey came from: Adderley was drawn to bop of the Charlie Parker kind, Davis to cooler moods and Jones came from swing. Drummer Blakey was renown for his hard bop style.

Yet on these five tunes they mesh together in a rare empathy: the title track swings effortlessly as Davis takes the helm in pure and elongated melodic lines before Adderley bounces it around in elegantly fluttering flights.

The final piece Dancing in the Dark is also one of those pieces you warm to immediately.

Blues is the theme throughout and on One for Daddy-O -- written by Cannonball's brother Nat for a Chicago DJ -- has an almost funky feel, although Davis takes it into the stratosphere at the end of one of his solos.

Listened to now, more than five decades after the sessions we can hear in this album all the elements of classic Blue Note. It's all here from the cover design by Reid Miles through Rudy Van Gelder's recording to the playing of these young masters.

bluenotelogoSomethin' Else is one of the limited edition 180gm vinyl reissues (which comes with a download code) in the celebrations of Blue Note's 75th anniversary.

Get yourself (re)aquainted with it.

For more on Blue Note artists old and new -- and which includes articles on the label's history, artwork and some of the vinyl reissue albums look here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Pat Metheny/Cuong Vu Trio: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny (Nonesuch)

Pat Metheny/Cuong Vu Trio: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny (Nonesuch)

The 46-year old Vietnam-born trumpeter Vu established himelf in the NYC Downtown scene in the Nineties, has recorded for the edgy Knitting Factory label and played with Laurie Anderson, drummer... > Read more

Terje Rypdal: Melodic Warrior (ECM/Ode)

Terje Rypdal: Melodic Warrior (ECM/Ode)

We put this album here under "Jazz in Elsewhere" simply for the convenience of those who know Norwegian guitarist Rypdal's long career in that idiom. But a quick glance at the other... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BACK TO BLACK (2014): 12 inch vinyl, a Sign o' The Times

BACK TO BLACK (2014): 12 inch vinyl, a Sign o' The Times

At last! Although seriously serious old Beatles' fans didn't have long to wait. Just fortysomething years after the band broke up . . . but a mere five years since their albums... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Tom Cunliffe

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Tom Cunliffe

The London-born New Zealand singer-songwriter Tom Cunliffe made a very sound impression with his debut album Howl & Whisper in 2016 which ran the gamut from crowd-pleasing pub-folk to ballads... > Read more