Cannonball Adderley

Eight Classic Albums

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The mysterious Real Gone Jazz label has become well known for its Eight Classic Albums series, each of which offers two albums per single disc. The Cannonball Adderley entry in their catalog features sides cut for a number of labels including Emarcy, Mercury, and Riverside. The recording dates range from 1957 to 1960. The albums here include: Sophisticated Swing (1957); Things Are Getting Better with Milt Jackson (1958); Portrait of Cannonball (1958); Cannonball's Sharpshooters (1958); Cannonball Takes Charge (1959); Cannonball & Coltrane (1959); Them Dirty Blues (1960), and Cannonball Adderley & the Poll Winners (1960). Virtually all of these records have been issued many times over, with the exception of the hard bop date Sophisticated Swing, which has only been available from Japan in the 21st century. The music ranges from merely good (Cannonball Takes Charge) to sublime (Them Dirty Blues, Cannonball & Coltrane). While Real Gone Jazz is known for its bargain prices, it's tempting for any jazz fan to fill in holes in her collection with these boxes, although there are a couple of caveats regarding presentation. A minor one is that the compilers do not place these discs in strict chronological order of recording date. An example here is disc four, which places Cannonball & Coltrane with Them Dirty Blues, when the proper chronological progression would have been to include Cannonball & Coltrane on disc three with Cannonball Takes Charge. The major caveat is sound. Despite the claim on the box covers that these recordings have been "Digitally Remastered and Enhanced for Superior Quality", that doesn't necessarily mean from master tapes. In many cases, it means the source material is from an unknown generation of LP pressing. There are audible scratches and pops in some places and the sound of a needle hitting a record in others. If that doesn't bother you, then the price is certainly right.

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