The Adderley brothers have had a career on
records that is not much more than a year old, yet in that time
they have shown an amazing musical potential, expanding both in
public recognition and in their own musical capabilities.
Nat Adderley, in particular, seems to have
matured considerably as the result of a confidence acquired
during the first few months playing in the big-time jazz circles
of Basin Street and The Bohemia. As his brother Julian puts it,
"Nat has discovered he is more capable than he realized
himself; his range is expanding and there are moments when he
sure sounds like Clifford Brown."
This new set of Adderley performances marks the
first appearance on records of the actual group with which they
have been playing the night clubs lately. Their regular touring
personnel consists of Nat and Julian plus Junior Mance on piano,
Charles Wright on drums and Sam Jones on bass. Al McKibbon, best
known as a member of the George Shearing quintet for the past
several years, is the bassist on Number 251, Sam's
Tune, The Fat Man and The Nearness of You.
Number 251, which opens the
set, is a happy-sounding original written especially for the
group by Jackie Byard, a pianist and tenor saxophonist who works
witb Herb Pomeroy's group in Boston. Solos by Nat, Cannonball and
Sam's Tune is a simple blues, starting
with four bars of riffing that are then repeated a fourth higher.
A surprise arrives in the shape of a cello, played by Sam Jones.
Though he has only had about a year's experience in the pizzicato
jazz cello approach, Sam reveals here that Oscar Pettiford may
have a serious competitor in the near future.
Bimini, a haunting minor theme written
by Nat, is named for an island in the Bahamas where the Adderleys
used to go deep-sea fishing. Again, alto, trumpet and piano are
featured in the solo roles.
The Fat Man was composed by
Jerome Richardson, the saxophonist and flutist well known in New
York jazz circles and heard as a soloist on several EmArcy long
plays. Naturalty it is named for Cannonball, who establishes the
minor riff theme, with its two- beat feel, while Mance gaily
fills the gaps between phrases. Nat is particularly effective in
his muted solo here.
Sermonette, which concludes the first
side, has a "churchy" theme representative of what
might be called the "modernized ancient" school of jazz
composition, of which Horace Silver's The Preacher was an earlier
example. Again the rhythm has a gently rocking two-beat accent
with Jones' bass as an effective underline.
Jackleg, a 16-bar minor theme played in
unison by the two horns, was written by Samuel Hurt, a trombonist
who used to play with Dizzy Gillespie's big band. A jackleg
preacher is one who has no church of his own, but walks around
preaching on street corners. You can hear this flavor both in the
melody and the construction, which uses breaks on the middle four
bars, along the antique but perennial lines established in the
early jazz days by such tunes as How Come You Do Me
Like You Do? Mance sounds very Horace Silverish
in his excellent solo here, and Jones' eloquent bass precedes the
final fading theme.
The Nearness of You, a Hoagy
Carmichael standard, opens with a melodic Cannonball solo. Nat
improvises in a peppery, multi-noted style; Wright doubles the
rhythm while the bass retains the original slow tempo. Toward the
end, Cannonball and Nat indulge in a little family fun with a
quote from Alouette and generally satirical atmos phere that
reminds us of the Adderleys' always latent sense of humor, a
welcome element in any jazzman's personality.
Rattler's Groove, another original by
Nat, was named, we were told "after our college football
team. The team's mascot was a rattlesnake and they called us the
Florida Rattlers".This is a boppish opus in which Julian,
Nat and the other Julian are very much at ease; Wright gets a
solo spot in the bridge of the last chorus.
Hayseed is another "kidding on
the square" composition, at bright tempo -"We tried to
depict country, folk-type themes," explains Cannonball. The
rhythm section, as it has in the entire album, really wails
throughout this consistently swinging performance.
We feel sure that if you have met the Adderley
brothers on one of their many successful night club engagements,
you will be happy to find them preserved intact on records and
reacquaint yourselves with them on these sides. Of course, if the
long play marks your first encounter with the jazz contributions
of this outstanding quintet, we hope the situation will apply in
reverse by leading you to your local bistro the next time they
pass through town.