A huge amount of early material by Cannonball Adderley
– 3 full albums for Mercury Records, plus live material from a variety of different settings! First in the set is the album Sophisticated Swing, a record that swings all the way – and it features a young Cannon blowing hard with a tight little combo that's kind of a precursor of his hit recordings on Riverside a few years later. Brother Nat's on cornet, and the rhythm's by Junior Mance, Jimmy Cobb, and Sam Jones. Adderley
's solos are choppy and free – a bit more unbridled than on some of his later work, very pinched in tone, which makes for a wonderfully soulful sound. Titles include "Miss Jackie's Delight", "Another Kind Of Soul", "Jeanie", "Spectacular", and "Eddie McLin". On Cannonball
Enroute, Cannon's working out his soul jazz groove nicely – and if we can take the "enroute" in the title to imply a transition from his more bop-driven roots, then so be it! The group's a quintet with players that form a great basis for Adderley
's rolling sound – Nat Adderley
on trumpet, Junior Mance on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Titles include "Porky", "Hoppin John", "That Funky Train", "I'll Remember April", and "18th Century Ballroom". Cannonball
's Sharpshooters is one of Cannon's first really strongly voiced albums, and a key set in developing the idea of his working best in a set, soulful group. He's playing here with brother Nat on trumpet, Junior Mance on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums – and while not ever player is representative of the glory of the Riverside or Capitol years, they really come close, and the set opens Cannon and Nat up in a very in the pocket groove that is still mostly hardbop, but which is beginning to show distinct traces of soul jazz. Titles include "Jubilation", "Our Delight", "Fuller Bop Man", and "Stay On It". The remaining 7 tracks on the CD are from a Stars Of Jazz TV performance in 1956 and Newport Jazz Fest performance in 1957 – with titles that include "Cobb Web", "Spectacular", "Wee Dot", "Sermonette", "Sam's Tune", and "Hurricane Connie". 32 tracks in all!