Cannonball Adderley: Somethin’ Else

The much-reissued classic, with a rare sideman showing for Miles Davis, appears again, this time on LP with a bonus single

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This was recorded a month after Cannonball Adderley had made his recording debut with the Miles Davis sextet on Milestones. He finally left the group in September 1959 despite the leader guaranteeing him an annual salary of $20,000 – a huge amount for a sideman and worth about $200,000 today. For Miles Davis to appear as a sideman on Adderley’s album was quite a compliment. Somethin’ Else and Michel Legrand’s Legrand Jazz, the latter recorded three months later, were the last time he performed in that role.

Autumn Leaves opens with an atmospheric vamp from Hank Jones’ piano, doubled by Sam Jones on the bass. Miles introduces the theme with his trademark harmon mute sound before Cannonball moves centre-stage for two choruses of intense lyricism. (Glamourama have also included a very rare alternative take of Autumn Leaves).

The pianist introduces Love For Sale at his most rhapsodic. Miles once again handles the theme over tasty Art Blakey brush-work leading to Adderley at his most hard-swinging, take-no-prisoners best. The trumpeter, in this period always exquisitely poised, was never content with two notes where one would do which creates a stimulating contrast between the horns. One For Daddy-O, introduced here, is a cute, down-home 12-bar minor blues by Nat Adderley.

With his quite unique vibrato, Cannonball gives an emotional reading to Dancing In The Dark – a feature that had been suggested by Miles on the day. As always, Art Blakey’s performance is a masterclass in sympathetic small-group drumming. Eschewing his customary powerful press-rolls he still manages to include highly effective percussive effects throughout.

Somethin’ Else has regularly been reissued since 1958 and has rightfully assumed classic status over the years. This LP version comes with a 7” bonus single featuring Alison’s Uncle (aka Bangoon) from the original session along with Work Song from a 1962 Cannonball big band date.

Discography
Autumn Leaves; Love For Sale; Autumn Leaves (alt); Somethin’ Else; One For Daddy-O; Dancing In The Dark (48.05)
Miles Davis (t); Adderley (as); Hank Jones (p); Sam Jones (b); Art Blakey (d). New Jersey, 16 March 1958.
Glamourama Records 66013