World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Cannonball Adderley

Article Id: WHEBN0000172119
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cannonball Adderley  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cannonball Adderley and the Poll-Winners, Cannonball Adderley Live!, Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago, Cannonball Adderley's Fiddler on the Roof, Cannonball Enroute
Collection: 1928 Births, 1975 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Musicians, African-American Jazz Musicians, African-American Woodwind Musicians, American Jazz Alto Saxophonists, American Jazz Bandleaders, Blue Note Records Artists, Capitol Records Artists, Cardiovascular Disease Deaths in Indiana, Deaths from Stroke, Emarcy Records Artists, Fantasy Records Artists, Florida A&M University Alumni, Grammy Award Winners, Hard Bop Saxophonists, Jazz Alto Saxophonists, Jazz Musicians from Florida, Jazz Musicians from New York, Jazz Record Producers, Landmark Records Artists, Miles Davis, Milestone Records Artists, Musicians from Tampa, Florida, People from Corona, Queens, Riverside Records Artists, Savoy Records Artists, Soul-Jazz Saxophonists, Verve Records Artists
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cannonball Adderley

Cannonball Adderley
Cannonball (left) and Nat Adderley in 1966
Background information
Birth name Julian Edwin Adderley
Born (1928-09-15)September 15, 1928
Tampa, Florida, United States
Died August 8, 1975(1975-08-08) (aged 46)
Gary, Indiana, United States
Genres Hard bop, soul jazz, modal jazz, jazz rock[1]
Occupation(s) Teacher, saxophonist
Instruments Alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
Years active 1955–1975
Labels Blue Note, Fantasy, Capitol, Prestige, Riverside
Associated acts Yusef Lateef, Sam Jones, Joe Zawinul, Louis Hayes, Bobby Timmons, Bill Evans
Nat and Cannonball Adderley in Amsterdam, 1961

Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley (September 15, 1928 – August 8, 1975)[2] was a jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s.

Adderley is remembered for his 1966 single "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy", a crossover hit on the pop charts, and for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis, including on the epochal album Kind of Blue (1959). He was the brother of jazz cornetist Nat Adderley, a longtime member of his band.[3]


  • Early life and career 1
  • Band leader 2
  • Later life 3
  • Discography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and career

Originally from Tampa, Florida, Adderley moved to New York in 1955.[3][4] His nickname derived from "cannibal", a title imposed on him by high school colleagues as a tribute to his voracious appetite.[5]

Cannonball moved to Tallahassee, Florida, when his parents obtained teaching positions at Florida A&M University.[6] Both Cannonball and brother Nat played with Ray Charles when Charles lived in Tallahassee during the early 1940s.[7] Adderley moved to Broward County, Florida, in 1948 after finishing his music studies at Tallahassee and became the band director at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a position which he held until 1950.[4] Cannonball was a local legend in Southeast Florida until he moved to New York City in 1955.

One of his known addresses in New York Corona, Queens.[3][8] He left Florida originally to seek graduate studies at New York conservatories, but one night in 1955 he brought his saxophone with him to the Cafe Bohemia. Asked to sit in with Oscar Pettiford in place of his band's regular saxophonist, who was late for the gig, the "buzz" on the New York Jazz scene after Adderley's performance announced him as the heir to the mantle of Charlie Parker.[4]

Adderley formed his own group with his brother Nat after signing onto the Savoy jazz label in 1957. He was noticed by Miles Davis, and it was because of his blues-rooted alto saxophone that Davis asked him to play with his group.[3] He joined the Davis band in October of 1957, three months prior to the return of John Coltrane to the group. Adderley played on the seminal Davis records Milestones and Kind of Blue. This period also overlapped with pianist Bill Evans' time with the sextet, an association that led to recording Portrait of Cannonball and Know What I Mean?.[3]

His interest as an educator carried over to his recordings. In 1961, Cannonball narrated The Child's Introduction to Jazz, released on Riverside Records.[3]

Band leader

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet featured Cannonball on alto sax and his brother Nat Adderley on cornet. Cannonball's first quintet was not very successful;[9] however, after leaving Davis' group, he formed another, again with his brother, which enjoyed more success.

The new quintet, which later became the Cannonball Adderley Sextet, and Cannonball's other combos and groups, included such noted musicians as saxophonists Ray Brown, Sam Jones, Walter Booker, and Victor Gaskin, and drummers Louis Hayes and Roy McCurdy.

Later life

By the end of the 1960s, Adderley's playing began to reflect the influence of the electric jazz, avant-garde, and Davis' experiments on the album Bitches Brew. On his albums from this period, such as Accent on Africa (1968) and The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free (1970), he began doubling on soprano saxophone, showing the influence of Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. In that same year, his quintet appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, and a brief scene of that performance was featured in the 1971 psychological thriller Play Misty for Me, starring Clint Eastwood. In 1975 he also appeared, in an acting role alongside Jose Feliciano and David Carradine, in the episode "Battle Hymn" in the third season of the TV series Kung Fu.[10]

Songs made famous by Adderley and his bands include "This Here" (written by Bobby Timmons), "The Jive Samba", "Work Song" (written by Nat Adderley), "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (written by Joe Zawinul) and "Walk Tall" (written by Zawinul, Marrow and Rein). A cover version of Pops Staples' "Why (Am I Treated So Bad)?" also entered the charts. His instrumental "Sack o' Woe" was covered by Manfred Mann on their debut album.

Adderley was initiated as an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity (Gamma Theta chapter, University of North Texas, '60, & Xi Omega chapter, Frostburg State University, '70) and Alpha Phi Alpha (Beta Nu chapter, Florida A&M University).

Adderley died of a [11]



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Lydon, Michael, Ray Charles: Man and Music, Routledge (1996); updated edition, January 22, 2004, ISBN 0-415-97043-1.
  8. ^ Berman, Eleanor. "The jazz of Queens encompasses music royalty", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 1, 2006. Accessed October 1, 2009. "When the trolley tour proceeds, Mr. Knight points out the nearby Dorie Miller Houses, a co-op apartment complex in Corona where Clark Terry and Cannonball and Nat Adderley lived and where saxophonist Jimmy Heath still resides."
  9. ^ Milkowski, Bill, "Junior Mance: Saved By A Cannonball", JazzTimes, January 16, 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links

  • Cannonball Adderley at Find a Grave
  • The Cannonball Adderley Rendez-vous
  • Cannonball Adderley Discography at
  • Cannonball Adderley at AllMusic
  • Cannonball Adderley at NPR Music
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.