Cannonball Adderley

The Best of Cannonball Adderley: The Capitol Years

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The Best of Cannonball Adderley: The Capitol Years Review

by Richard S. Ginell

Thanks to its ownership of some of Cannonball Adderley's Riverside recordings, Capitol was able to stretch the definition of Best of Cannonball Adderley: The Capitol Years a bit in this hits collection. Beginning with a pair of live Riverside tracks from Adderley's short-lived sextet with Yusef Lateef ("Work Song," "Jive Samba"), the CD enters the Capitol years proper with the surprisingly effective treatment of "Fiddler on the Roof," continues with three hits centered around Joe Zawinul's soul/gospel electric piano ("Mercy Mercy Mercy," "Why Am I Treated So Bad?," and "Walk Tall"), the tension-wracked "74 Miles Away," and the relaxed "Country Preacher." There are missing ingredients, like the orchestral recordings, the excursions into electric music in the early '70s. Yet from the evidence of this strong lineup -- almost all of it recorded live, and often prefaced by Adderley's ingratiating spoken intros -- it would be very hard to argue (as some have) that his Capitol period was one long commercial sellout.

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