Cannonball Adderley Quintet
Them Dirty Blues (1960)

alto sax - Cannonball Adderley
cornet - Nat Adderley
piano - Barry Harris (trks 1-4)
piano - Bobby Timmons (trks 5-9)
bass - Sam Jones
drums - Louis Hayes

I preach Cannonball a lot, I know. I've probably recommended this album hundreds of times, I know. I've probably posted links to the cuts of this album hundreds of times.

But it really can't be overstated how fantastic an album this is. For several reasons:

It's straight-ahead, progressive and, most importantly, accessible all at the same time.

This is one of the all-time greatest hard bop albums that I have a feeling not many people own. Cannonball and Nat are soulful and bluesy, always a trademark of their playing, but it's the rhythm section that is cooking on this one. Sam Jones and Louis Hayes are a lethal combination. Throw Bobby Timmons into the mix and it's dangerous. Hell, the three of them recorded some badass albums in their own right. Adding two horns fills out the mix.

The other great thing is, probably having to do with their fraternal relationship, the brothers Adderley seem to be able to blend, sonically and mentally, with each other perfectly. Nobody swung like Cannonball. His solos are never pretentious. There is always a clear idea and and a clear motive. That's what jazz is. Not noodling licks. It's storytelling. And Julian and Nat do a kick ass job here. Their playing is all soul. And anyone who hears it can't help but describe it the same way. At some point opinions give way to simple facts and that is one.

Honestly, I think the latter half of the CD is better (I thought this even before I knew Timmons was on the last half. God that guy was a beast). The alternative cuts of both "Work Song" and "Dat Dere" are incredibly infectious. But every track here is solid. To be blunt: this album IS the heart of jazz. Because blues is the heart of jazz. It's jazz that remembers where it came from; an historically conscious music that embraces its roots rather than trying to move away from them as jazzers seemed to do soon afterwards. If someone asked me to give them three CDs to define hard bop, this would be one.

I recommend buying the album for several reasons, but here are some convenient links:

"Work Song"
"Them Dirty Blues"
"Dat Dere"
"Del Sasser"
Last edited by primusfan at Jul 29, 2011,
One of the great Hard bop records that's not under the blue note label, I love Adderley's phrasing.
I stuck this, even though you like the Jaguars.
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Great rec. I never listened to Adderley solo very much, which is to say not at all, but I just checked this out on itunes, and bought it almost immediately.
Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything.

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