The Cannonball Adderley Quintet – “Capricorn”

I’m a Libra myself, but whatever…

Saxophonist Cannonball Adderley left an indelible mark on the world of jazz, playing with legends such as Ray Charles and Miles Davis (even playing on Davis’s legendary Kind of Blue and Milestones albums), teaching jazz at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (I lived near that school for a time), and later on as a bandleader in The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, which featured his brother, trumpeter Nat Adderley and other jazz heavyweights which included Yusef LateefJoe Zawinul, and Barry Harris. In the latter half of the ’60s and early ’70s the Quintet reigned, signed to Capitol Records and putting out some pretty striking albums, many of them culled from live performances. Music, You All was one of these records. Published in 1976, a year after Adderley’s passing, the record featured the band playing several sets recorded in 1972 at the Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles, found in Capitol’s archives and compiled by the legendary musician and producer David Axelrod (whom I also need to feature on the Beest at some point). A spontaneous, composed, and smooth record, Music, You All contains some of Adderley’s best work and great contributions from the band. “Capricorn” is a standout.

I first discovered “Capricorn” like I do many other classic cuts–through a sample, hearing it in Pete Rock & CL Smooth‘s “In The House” from ’94 and Urban Mystic‘s one-hit-wonder ten years after that, “Where Were You.” The original though? An absolute gem, and the Quintet, joined by guest George Duke on the electric piano, really put it down here. Adderley puts in work on the sax, and Duke’s riffing on the keys makes this listen absolutely take flight. The song is soulful and inviting, authoritative in feel, and a wonder to experience. This listen is another one of those late night burns where you break out some wine, sit back, and enjoy.