Work Song: NAT ADDERLEY
Nat Adderley (cnt) Wes Montgomery (g) Bobby Timmons (p) Sam Jones (cell and bass) Keter Betts (cello and bass) or Percy Heath (b) Louis Hayes (drs)
A note on personanel changes: (1) – Adderley, Montgomery, Jones (cello), Timmons, Heath and Hayes. (2) Betts replaces Heath on (b). (3) no piano, Betts (cello) and Jones (b). (4) no piano or cello; Betts (b). (5) Adderley, Montgomery and Jones (b) only.
New York; January 25 and 27, 1960
Work Song (1) (4:09) (Nat Adderley)
Pretty Memory (2) (3:50) (Bobby Timmons)
I’ve Got a Crush on You (5) (2:50) (George & Ira Gershwin)
Mean to Me (4) (4:55) (Turk – Ahlert)
Fallout (2) (4:46) (Nat Adderley)
Sack of Woe (1) (4:21) (Julian Adderley)
My Heart Stood Still (3) (6:20) (Rodgers & Hart)
Violets for Your Furs (5) (3:44) (Adair – Dennis)
Scrambled Eggs (1) (3:15) (Sam Jones)
This is an album with a sound you are guaranteed not to have heard before, featuring a distinctive and fascinating front-line blend in which the melody instruments –the three “horns,” you could say – are cornet, guitar and cello!
Admittedly, the search for ‘new sounds’ in modern jazz has sometimes led to little more than arbitrary and contrived novelty effects. But on the other hand, when all the ingredients are right the result can be just such a musically valid and excitingly different ‘new sound’ as NAT ADDERLEY has come up with here.
The secret is that Nat’s idea began as any really worthwhile jazz concept should – with specific musicians and specific kinds of music in mind. You can look at the development of this LP as a sort of recipe. First the young cornet star took those elements of the current jazz idiom that he commands most effectively: some outstanding new examples of the earthy, soulful music that is a particular Adderley specialty; and some notably lyrical standards. To give these the desired special flavor he added, not just guitar and cello, but the two specific men he felt could make this off-trail concoction come out with precisely the right taste. That meant WES MONTGOMERY, who critic Ralph Gleason has flatly proclaimed as “the best thing to happen to the guitar since Charlie Christian”; and SAM JONES (recognized by fellow musicians as close to the very best of Eastern bassists and frequently heard on bass on Riverside LPs), who has recently been devoting considerable attention to a highly individual and funky non-bowed cello style that should soon make him a prime candidate for honors in what the jazz polls like to term the “miscellaneous instrument” category.
For the full sextet selections, the logical piano choice was BOBBY TIMMONS, writer of such celebrated ‘soul music’ as This Here and Moanin’, and as much a master of deep-down piano as that fact would lead you to believe. Completing the well-blended rhythm section is drummer of LOUIS HAYES, long featured with Horace Silver and more recently a colleague of Nat , Sam and Bobby in the phenomenal Cannonball Adderley Quintet; and (on the first session) PERCY HEATH, a key member of the Modern Jazz Quartet. When Percy was unavailable for the balance for the recording, Nat called upon KETER BETTS, a remarkably firm bass player who has been relatively buried in Washington, D.C., but who has been tabbed by such as Cannonball and Miles Davis as a man to listen to.
Far from the least of these ingredients, of course, is Nat Adderley himself. The sound of his horn is strikingly personal: warm, driving, far-ranging, tinged with that slightly acid cornet tone that fits so well with his richly emotional (but decidedly unsentimental) and deeply blues-shaped conception. It is the sound of a young jazzman moving rapidly and unhesitantly towards real stardom, as more and more listeners are getting to realize. As 1959 turned the corner into the ‘60s, it was clear that his featured role in the brilliant band led by his brother Cannonball was doing much to enhance Nat’s reputation. But it was even more clear that Nat is a great deal more than somebody’s brother, that he is in his own right a highly rewarding and inventive jazz artist.
The five originals in this album are sextet numbers. Nat’s pulsing Work Song and Cannonball’s earthy Sack of Woe are probably the most completely effective in utilizing this unique sound; and there is also Timmons’ Pretty Memory, Sam Jones’ up-tempo and boppish Scrambled Eggs, and a romping blues that Nat calls Fallout. (As an added touch, this last includes two cello solos: the first is by Jones, followed by a Lou Hayes drum chorus during which Sam and the versatile Betts ran through a brief version of musical chairs to enable Keter to then demonstrate his solo cello plucking, with Sam staying on bass for the remainder of the number.)
Mean to Me and My Heart Stood Still are in a lyrical-swinging vein, with an unusual buoyancy plus a continuation of the funky atmosphere, even though piano is omitted to give these two numbers a leaner, driving sound – the piano’s function being taken over here by Wes Montgomery’s rocking-but-sensitive guitar. Violets for Your Furs and I’ve Got a Crush on You are at ballad pace and mood, with the personnel down to an intimate trio sound; cornet, guitar, and Sam Jones’ bass.
Nat’s other Riverside albums include –
Branching Out: NAT ADDERLEY; with Johnny Griffin, ‘The Three Sounds’ (RLP 12-285)
Much Brass: NAT ADDERLEY Sextet; with Wynton Kelly, Slide Hampton (RLP 12-301; also Stereo RLP 1143)
He is also featured on such LPs as –
CANNONBALL ADDERLEY Quintet in San Francisco (RLP 12-311; also Stereo RLP 1157)
The Thumper: JIMMYHEATH Sextet (RLP 12-314; also Stereo 1160)
Kelly Blue: WYNTON KELLY (RLP 12-298; also Stereo RLP 1142)
Montgomery can be heard on –
WES MONTGOMERY Trio (RLP 12-310; also Stereo RLP 1156)
The Incredible Jazz Guitar of WES MONTGOMERY (RLP 12-320; also Stereo 1169)
Timmons leads a trio of his own on –
This Here is BOBBY TIMMONS (RLP 12-317; also Stereo RLP 1164)
(This recodidng is also available in Stereophonic form on RLP 1167)
Produced and notes written by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover designed and produced by PAUL BACON – KEN BRAREN–HARRRIS LEWINE
Cover and back-liver photographs by LAWRENCE N. SHUSTAK
Recording Engineer: JACK HIGGINS (Reeves Sound Studios)
Riverside-Reeves SPECTROSONIC High Fidelity Engineering
Mastered by JACK MATTHEWS (Components Corp.) on a HYDROFEED lathe.
RIVERSIDE RECORDS are produced by BILL GRAUER PRODUCITONS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street New York 36, N.Y.