That’s Right! : NAT ADDERLEY
and The Big Sax Section
Nat Adderley (cnt) Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (as) Yusef Lateef (ts) Jimmy Heath (ts) Charlie Rouse (ts) Tate Houston (brs) Wynton Kelly (p) Jim Hall (g on Side 1, #2 and 3; Side 2, #1) Les Spann (g on other five selections)) Sam Jones (b) Jimmy Cobb (drs) Lateef also plays flute on Side 1, #1 and 3; oboe on Side 2, #2)
Arrangement by Jimmy Heath (except for Side 2, #2) by Jimmy Jones (Side 2, #4), Norman Simmons (Side 2, #4) Plaza Sound Studios, NYC; Aug 9 & Set.15, 1960
1.The Old Country (3:54) (Nar Adderley)
2.Chordnation (6:09) (Jimmy Heath)
3.The Folks Who Live on the Hill (4:15) (Kern – Hammerstein)
4.Tadd (4:13) (Barry Harris)
1.You Leave Me Breathless (4:14) (Hollander – Freed)
2.Night After Night (2:29) (Joe Bailey)
3.E. S. P. (3:47) (Barry Harris)
4.That’s Right! (8:58) (Nat Adderley)
This unusual and richly inventive album should do much to emphasize the important fact that NAT ADDERLEY is swiftly and steadily rising towards a position in the very front ranks of today’s jazz artists.
This rise can largely be credited to such basic factors as a sharp and continuing maturing of Nat’s talents, to an ever-increasing fulfillment of the young star’s vast promise, and to a heightened awareness by the jazz public of just how much Nat has to offer. The younger Adderley brother’s playing contains a most uncommon degree of wit, warmth, imagination and power; and he has also a thorough command of his instrument – which, by choice, has always been the slightly sharper-pitched cornet rather than the trumpet – over an awesomely wide range.
It is worth noting in particular that Nat’s stature grew with startling speed during the year preceding the recording of this album. For this was the first year (starting in the Fall of 1959) of the new and phenomenally successful Cannonball Adderley Quintet, in which Nat is featured alongside his brother; thus it was a year in which, night and night, Nat was able to play the kind of music he most enjoys and in the best of company. In other words, a happy year for Nat: and his work the excellent results of that happiness.
There is, however, more to Nat Adderley than just what he can do with his horn – although that would surely be more than enough to satisfy most men. Two other vital elements are in evidence here, and both help greatly in making this particular recording one to be unusually proud of:
One is his remarkable musical inventiveness and what of today’s record dates (and yesterday’s and tomorrow’s dates, too, for that matter) tend either to stick to a routine formula or to reach out for gimmicks that all too often are ‘different’ merely for the sake of being different. You can’t criticize this too harshly: it is not at all easy to come up with legitimately different musical ideas. But Nat Adderley appears to have a decided gift for self-justifying departures from the routine. His 1959 “Much Brass” album featured a cornet-trombone-tuba front line; the “Work Song” LP, recorded early in ’60, made striking use of guitar (Wes Montgomery) and cello (Sam Jones) in combination with Nat’s horn. Now he has turned into reality another of his off-trail ideas – using the big, full sound of group of saxophones, blended with his cornet in the ensembles and establishing a reed-choir background for the brass solos. Talented arrangers – for the most part tenorman Jimmy Heath, one of the most exciting new writers to arrive on the scene in a long time – have carried out Nat’s ideas in brilliant and unique fashion.
The second vital element referred to above is best indicated by the personnel listing for this album. It is one thing to have intriguing ideas; it is something else to succeed in having them performed with proper skill and enthusiasm. And his has more than a little to do with who the man with the ideas is. Nat Adderley, to put it plainly, is respected and enjoyed as a musician, and is admired and loved as human being, by some of the finest players around. This can be a very concretely helpful state of affairs. For his hand-picked crew of associates here is not only a formidable array of jazz names; it is also a roster to whom this was not just another job. The album was important to Nat; Nat is important to them; therefore all concerned gave their very considerable best.
The rhythm section flows and drives flawlessly and unflaggingly, with the tight-knit Wynton Kelly-Sam Jones-Jimmy Cobb team augmented by Jim Hall on the first date and Les Spann on the second. The remarkable group of saxes in led by Cannonball (who by mutual consent functions primarily in the key role of section-leader on his brother’s album, soloing only on You Leave Me Breathless) and anchored by the rich baritone sax of Tate Houston. All three distinctive tenor stars who form the core of the sax section also get individual opportunities to speak out (although the main solo spotlight is of course on Nat, who makes the makes the most of it). For purposes of identification, the solo sequences run like this –
On The Old Country (Nat’s tune, based on an Israeli folk melody) Yusef Lateef – who plays flute lead in the ensembles – takes the tenor solo, followed by Nat and Wynton. On Jimmy Heath’s Chordnation, there’s a guitar solo by Jim Hall; then, after Nat and Wynton blow, the tenor solo is by Charlie Rouse. Folks Who Live on the Hill is divided between Yusef’s flute and Nat. Tadd features Nat, Heath, and a Les Spann guitar solo.
The solo space on Breathless is turned over to the Adderleys. On the Joe Bailey original ballad, Night After Night, it’s Nat plus Lateef’s remarkable oboe sound. E.S.P. (for Extra-Sensory Perception, of course) has choruses by Kelly, Nat and Rouse. Finally, That’s Right! Provides stretching room for the reeds: blues choruses by Nat (with the saxes building up a storm behind him) frame solos by Rouse, Heath, Lateef, and then Houston.
Nat’s other Riverside albums include –
Work Song: NAT ADDERLEY, with Wes Montgomery (RLP 12-318; Stereo RLP 1167)
Much Brass: NAT ADDERLEY, with Wynton Kelly (RLP 12-301; Stereo RLP 1143)
Branching Out: NAT ADDERLEY, with Johnny Griffin and ‘The three sounds’ (RLP 12-285)
No less than five of the other musicians heard here lead groups of their own on such Riverside LPs as –
Them Dirty Blues: CANNONBALL ADDERLEY Quintet (RLP 12-322; Stereo RLP 1170)
The CANNONBALL ADDERLEY Quintet in San Francisco (RLP 12-311; Stereo RLP 1157)
Really Big! : JIMMY HEATH Orchestra (RLP 333; Stereo 1188)
Three Faces of YUSEF LATEEF (RLP 12-325; Stereo 1176)
The Soul Society: SAM JONES, with Nar Adderley, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Timmons
(RLP 12-324; Stereo RLP 1172)
Kelly Blue: WYNTON KELLY, with Nat Adderley (RLP 12-298; Stereo RLP 1142)
Produced and notes by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF
Back-liner photo by LAWRENCE N. SHUSTAK
Recording engineer: RAY FOWLER
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios
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.