On September 15, 1928, Julian Edwin “Cannonball” Adderley spent his life sharing his considerable skill at playing jazz alto saxophone until his death on August 8, 1975. He was particularly well renown for his work during the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s. His 1966 soul jazz crossover hit Mercy, Mercy, Mercy is a personal all time favorite of mine.
In 1960, The Cannonball Adderley Quintet played a particularly awesome, finger snapping set at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California. Along with Cannonball’s distinguished playing we are listening to the skilled musical craftsmanship of Nat Adderley, Victor Feldman, Sam Jones and Louis Hayes. The album remains to this day a very strong introduction to the music of this classic hard bop group.
You can really understand you’re into some special when the album opens with a near immortal version of Sack O’Woe and steam on ahead from there into a vintage set of some of the best hard bop music your ears will ever enjoy. Bubbly, effusive, happy jazz played effortlessly and endlessly streams from the vinyl to your heart as though wafted on a breeze of comfortable sonority. The blue moan of the sax leads the way playfully slipping and sliding around in your head with deliciously slurred pitches that blaze with live energy. The joyfulness of this music so masks the challenging musicianship that brings it together that Aloha Promises Forever has no choice but to give this outstanding album a 10 out of 10.
At the Lighthouse by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet may be listened to in its entirety here: