Cannonball Adderley Aims Sax at Record Market

HOLLYWOOD — Julian (Cannonball) Adderley, a new jazz pactee with Capitol, is mapping plans to become a busy recording cat. The influential saxophonist feels his new disk affiliation is his first opportunity to fully exploit large groups and string sections.

Cognizant that jazznicks may label these recordings “commercial,” he says it doesn’t worry him. “Capitol for a long time has recorded large bands and stayed away from small groups,” he explains. “So jazz fans will probably say Capitol has got me doing big band things. Truth of the matter is I’ve discussed a master plan for my albums with producer Dave Axelrod, which includes big band things.”

Cannonball added he would like to record with singers, something he could not do while with Riverside, which stayed away from vocalists.

Capitol has fully taken advantage of Cannonball’s recent West Coast stay, recording the single, ‘Goodbye Charlie’, an LP at the Manne Hole and an LP with vocalist Ernie Andrews. Several years ago, Adderley provided the backing for one of Nancy Wilson’s first Capitol albums, so he is not new to the label or working with jazz vocalists.

Adderley says the reason for playing with fiddles is to expand the programming of jazz. “People overlook the fact that Charlie Byrd and Clifford Brown both recorded with strings,” he said.

Out on the road playing night clubs three quarters of the time, Adderley finds “too much conformity within the jazz ranks.” He believes there’s “not too many people thinking for themselves.”

“If a man has the convictions to play his own style, he’s looked upon as a giant,” he notes. Citing John Coltrane as an individual who evolved his own style only to be “put down by the critics,” Adderley says Coltrane “knew he was saying something so he kept on playing.” Then came a whole host of imitators and suddenly the critics began recognizing him as the innovator, Adderley remarked.

Asked if he saw any result to the mergence of avant-garde players, Adderley said: “Musicians are busy analyzing themselves. They used to enjoy themselves on the stand and this would carry over to their audience.” Now jazzmen are injecting “deliberate complexities” into their styles. “It’s morally wrong to expect people to pay for satisfying your ego,” Adderley said with conviction.

The erudite leader said he prefers playing in clubs because of stimulus and contact with an audience. He has earned as much as $5,000 for an engagement with his group. He says people have fun in a club but doesn’t think they should take all music seriously. Adderley doesn’t believe in the intellectual only approach of avant-garde jazz fans. Jazz is fun and people should remember this and stop worrying about intellectualizing, said Adderley.

© uncredited writerBillboard, 24 October 1964

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