Twitter Facebook

Cannonball Adderley, A Giant Of Jazz

Twitter  Facebook Plus this Submit to linkedin Submit to StumbleUpon Pinterest Pin

Cannonball Adderley is one of Jazz’s most celebrated performers. The alto saxophone player was a sensation when performing in the Miles Davies Band, and was known for some blistering playing. However, it was one of those strange quirks of fate that launched Adderley’s career.

Originally, Julian Edwin Adderley worked as a teacher in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He taught at Dillard High School, and it was there that Adderley first picked up a nickname, although not exactly the one he’d adopt in his music career. Because of his ability to eat lots of food, and eat it quickly, other school staff members named him “Cannibal.” This changed as the speed of his alto sax playing came to light, and “Cannonball” seemed more apt.

It was in Florida that Adderley and his brother Nat, a Jazz comet and trumpet player, played with Ray Charles. These performances in Tallahassee helped Cannonball to gain a reputation for great playing in Florida. Cannonball Adderley moved to New York City. It was the mid-fifties, and Jazz clubs were really beginning to gain popularity. Many such clubs and cafés playing host to remarkable musicians who, like Adderley, are still revered today.

Cannonball Addersley’s path to fame

It was in New York that Cannonball Adderley’s prowess as a musician really began to be noticed, particularly on one fateful night in Cafe Bohemia, in Greenwich Village. Adderley decided to just drop by the café to enjoy Oscar Pettiford and his band. Because he was concerned that his saxophone would be stolen, he brought it in with him. It just so happened that Pettiford’s alto sax player was late, so he asked Cannonball to sit in for him.

He became a star of Cafe Bohemia for some weeks afterwards, earning a record deal with Savoy, a label specializing in Jazz, in 1957. Soon after, he was discovered by Miles Davis, who instantly wanted him to join his group. It was the collaboration between the two artists that led to a lot of innovation in Jazz music, diversifying into uptempo pop stylings called hard bop.

This collaboration led to the recording of “Somethin’ Else,” considered to be one of the best Jazz albums ever made. It’s on this album that you can hear the incredible forward-thinking styles of Miles Davis, but it is Cannonball Adderley’s incredible alto saxophone runs that inspires.

Sadly, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley passed away in 1975, at only 46 years old. However, his skill as one of Jazz music’s finest musicians will never been forgotten.

Kieran Conway is a UK based blogger, and although he is not a professional artist, himself, he loves writing about it. He is currently working for South Bank Art, which is a London based store, and online retailer, providing art supplies including Pro Arte watercolour brushes and artists ink.

He also writes about Jazz Music. Budding jazz alto saxophone players should come to Peterborough Music.

Twitter 

Twitter  Facebook Plus this Submit to linkedin Submit to StumbleUpon Pinterest Pin

2 comments… add one

  • Sally Brown May 30, 2012, 8:39 am

    Hi Deborah,

    I’ll be adding this to my Pandora Jazz collection. I love jazz and haven’t heard of Cannonball Addersley before. Thanks for the recommendation.

    I tried to find you on Pandora too. Chat soon. Sally

    Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge
This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)

Next Post:

Previous Post:

Deborah E

Recent Posts

Archives