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Nat Adderley

While brother alto saxophonist/bandleader Julian "Cannonball" Adderley garnered most of the fame, cornetist (and a grad of Fort Lauderdale's Dillard High School) Nat Adderley (1931-2000) undoubtedly planted his own flag in jazz history. Aside from being the right-hand man in Cannonball's Quintet for decades, Nat composed the perennial standards "Work Song" and "Jive Samba" (not to mention "Sack o' Woe") and was a fine musician and leader on his own. Originally released in 1960, Work Song (here given a boss remastering treatment) is considered by learned jazzheads worldwide as Nat's finest hour (or, at the very least, one of them). It's not hard to discern why — Nat shared with bro Cannonball a joy-filled, brash but lyrical tone on their respective horns, both rich with that "cry" deep in jazz's blues and gospel roots. Work Song consists of nine tunes, mostly originals with some well-chosen standards, performed with an invigorating sense of all-killer, no-filler economy. Also, the instrumental setting of the album is unique — saxophone is dispensed with entirely (along with piano on three selections), bassist Sam Jones (brother of Hank and Elvin) plays cello, and prominently featured is guitar icon Wes Montgomery (whose early career got a major boost from the Adderley brothers). If you seek soulful, lean, and swinging jazz look no further, pilgrim.

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Mark Keresman

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