Cannonball Adderley

Walk Tall: The David Axelrod Years

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EMI's U.K. imprint Stateside has been issuing interesting compilations for a long time. This one is no exception, as it includes tracks from one of the greatest popular and critically acclaimed partnerships of all time, that of saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and producer David Axelrod. The pair worked together from 1964 with Adderley's first date for Capitol, right on through to Adderley's death in 1975, though by then they no longer worked for the label; instead, they had shifted over to Fantasy, which had bought Adderley's pre-Axelrod catalog on Riverside. They made great records together and this double-disc budget-priced import offers a decent taste of that partnership. It begins way back in 1965 with the killer big-band album Domination (though this was not the first album the pair worked on together) and moves through various recordings, concentrating on jazz-funk offerings like Soul Zodiac, Love, Sex and the Zodiac, Why Am I Treated So Bad, Walk Tall, The Black Messiah, Soul of the Bible, Accent on Africa, Music You All, etc. Inexplicably, the pair's greatest hit, Joe Zawinul's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," is left off the set, but it's available in so many other places it hardly matters. This is not meant to be a definitive collection anyway -- for that you'd need an entire box. Instead, it is meant to offer a good hard look at what was accomplished, in terms of the sheer breadth and depth and artistry, and to showcase the sheer volume of what is not available readily on compact disc but should be. This is a terrific taste, but it's time for a full meal.

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