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on 14 April 2013
Considering that Cannonball Adderley died in 1975, it's taken a long time for this biography to appear. And because this book appears so long after Cannonball's death, Cary Ginell has had to rely for his information mainly on published archive sources and less on having access to people who knew Cannonball and are still alive themselves. Fortunately, Cannonball's wife Olga, David Axelrod, Yusef Lateef and Roy McCurdy were available for interview.

Unlike "Dis Here" (Chris Sheridan) or the Cannonball Adderley website, both of which deal almost exclusively with Adderley's recorded work, this book provides a broad picture of Cannonball's development from his early days in Florida through the various changes his career took and finally to his untimely death. Having been a fan of Adderley's since the sixties I found this book very informative, filling in some of the details of his later life of which I was not aware and the background to his health problems which dogged him throughout his life.

Personally, I prefer the recordings that Cannonball made for Riverside Records and it's saddening to read how little his other recording companies did for him even though his "greatest hit" (Mercy, Mercy, Mercy) appeared on the Capitol label. I think that the relationship which Cannonball built with Orrin Keepnews of Riverside Records must have been artistically satisfying for both men. Cannonball's important contribution to the Miles Davis album "Kind of Blue" would have been enough to seal his fame but Cannonball went on to become a great artist in his own right.

I can certainly recommend this book.
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on 18 May 2014
As a modern jazz fan and amateur musician growing up in the post-Parker period the recordings of Julian Adderley were an inspiration to many. Now with the easy availability of his 'back-catalogue' (Real Gone Jazz Records - available from Amazon!) I have the luxury of a detailed and interesting biog to go along with my re-listening sessions. An excellent book, highly recommended.
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on 29 December 2014
According to all accounts Mr Adderley was a gifted man with a warm and personable approach to life. He was both supportive and friendly to those closest to him as well as to the younger generations where he promoted jazz music. Though initially unsuccessful, a stint with Miles Davis and then a successful set of albums up to Mercy mercy mercy in 1966 ensured that Cannonball Adderley made a serious and beautiful mark on the world of jazz especially in the definition of soul. This is captured to a certain extent within this book.

The author makes a brave attempt at promoting Cannonball Adderley's later works in fusion and exotic developments of jazz following the decline in the popularity of soul. The author, however, only demonstrates various ways of saying that his music was not commercially viable. To balance these pages out there are exploration of other aspects of Adderley's life: his wife, his interests in education and his influences from Africa.

The book's problem is the lack of research. Nine interviews, a biography of 22 references - I was expecting 100s - a meagre discography with some nonsense about space does not allow additional information. There is space and lots of it. The only problem its filled with the intros provided by Cannonball Adderley freely available to anyone with the albums, and lyrics to songs others wrote to his music, speculation on traffic, the opinions of disk jockeys and some unsubstantiated claim for Cannonball's music having advertising abilities. Why are there 5 references to the Ramsey Lewis song "The In crowd", one would have sufficed. And I am unsure of what startling revelation Mr McCurdy provided, p.144, other than he came to do a record. So What?

There was so much more to talk about. The title of the song "Barefoot Sunday Blues" was provided by Orrin Keepnews rather than Cannonball and he, Cannonball, was not amused as no one would go to church in their bare-feet no matter how poor. Are there no interviews with Keepnews? Is the Louis Smith album, whom Cannonball contributed to, only recorded in mono? How good an actor was he in the 1975 series Kung Fu? Even discussions on the different albums in more detail would have added depth. Are there no out-takes of recordings in the studios that could have provided insights? Interviews with sound recordists? Well interviews with anyone really. More discussion on the legacy of his music and the ever changing world of black music and how his thoughts would be considered today.

One reviewer said it has taken too long for a book on the saxophonist to come out, but for this book the time spent on it's construction was clearly not enough.
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on 21 March 2015
Interesting book!
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on 21 February 2016
It doesnt exactly captivate you but information on cannonball is not forthcoming
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on 6 May 2015
Great insight into an interesting guy
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on 18 February 2016
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