Nat Adderley

Nat Adderley’s cornet, which was heavily influenced by Miles Davis in its early days, was always a complement to Cannonball’s voice in their popular quintet. For a long time, his career was parallel to that of his older brother. Nat began playing trumpet in 1946 and switched to cornet in 1950. He also spent time in military service, where he was a member of an Army band from 1951-1953. After a brief period with Lionel Hampton (1954-1955), Nat recorded his debut album in 1955. He then joined Cannonball’s unsuccessful quintet from 1956-1957. Nat also spent time with Woody Herman and J.J. Johnson before he reunited with Cannonball in October 1959. The group was a huge success, and Nat continued to be a member of the quintet up until Cannonball’s passing in 1975. He contributed originals such as “Work Song”, “Jive Samba”, and “The Old Country” and many other hard bop solos. Nat Adderley was at his peak in the mid- to late ’60s. He excelled at solos that touched the subtone register of the horn and led his own quintets following Cannonball’s passing. His most prominent sidemen were Sonny Fortune (in early ’80s), and Vincent Herring. His playing suffered a bit — Adderley’s chops were not as strong as they were in his early days — but Nat continued to record worthwhile sessions during the years before his death, January 2, 2000. His recordings from the years are available for many labels, but not all (such as Savoy and EmArcy), Riverside, Jazzland Jazzland Atlantic, Milestone, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, EmArcy and Jazzland).

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