in CAT

Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else (1958)

Four years ago, Colin and I did a series of Classic Album Tuesday reviews spanning 1957 to 1984. There wasn’t any particular theme or reasoning behind it, but it kept posts steady and let me explore a wide range of artists I otherwise wouldn’t have heard. Such artists included; Bobby Bland, The Beau Brummels, The Feelies and Briano Eno. I would like to try this again. Any other Mildly Pleasers are welcome to join me but don’t feel obligated. The truth of the matter is I could use the motivation to listen to more classic music. This being said I present you with my two cents regarding one of my favorite Jazz albums of all time.

I’m probably the last person who should write about Jazz. Do I even need to capitalize “Jazz?” I’ve probably heard less than ten Jazz albums in my life, and probably have no more than five I can say I love. Lucky for Cannonball Adderley, this album is one of them.

Somethin’ Else released in 1958 is a classic for more reasons than I can snap my fingers at. Here, the legendary alto saxophonist is not only accompanied by some of the most accomplished jazz artists of the time, he’s accompanied by Miles “Freaking” Davis. This is notable not only because Miles Davis is the most famous Jazz musician you’ve ever heard of, but because it is one of the few times Davis was a sideman. Adderley takes the spotlight with his busy yet bluesy playing style, well complemented by Davis’ more understated work. I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Though I can’t say much regarding the playing style, I can tell you how Somethin’ Else makes me feel. It makes me feel like a 1940s noir detective, smoking a cigarette and peering out at the rain-soaked streets from my office. You better believe I have an inner monologue going too. The leadoff track, “Autumn Leaves” best accompanies this fantasy (or delusion). At nearly ten minutes it’s a moody piece with a creeping piano and bittersweet horns.

I like to listen to Somethin’ Else when I write. I don’t usually listen to music when I write as I find it distracting but jazz feels just mellow and atmospheric enough for it to work for me. Especially if I have a hot cup of joe, looking out at the rain with an inner monologue in my head.

P.S. I plan on revealing a NEW weekly blog feature this Friday. Stay tuned!

Favorite Tracks: “Autumn Leaves,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Love for Sale”

  1. Yeah, I’d be down to do some of these. Even though the late 50s/early 60s is kind of a dead zone for albums.

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