This is definitely an album that should be on the list of top ten jazz albums to hear before you die. I think this for two reasons. Firstly, it is an interesting meeting between the old and the new. There are a couple of old standards here (Autumn Leaves and Love For Sale), which are given a `modern jazz' treatment, then a series of originals including the dreamily bluesy `Somethin Else' from Miles Davis. It shows how the old trad styles were giving way to the new bop sound. The second reason is that, musical history interest aside, it is an absolutely exquisite album. As well as alto sax man Adderley, there is Miles Davis on trumpet and Art Blakey on drums. With that much talent in the studio this could have been a bit of a mess as everyone competed for the limelight, but no, something truly exceptional resulted. A languorous, blue album of extended solos which just sweep you along. It's as beautiful a work of art as you could wish to hear. Adderley and Davis recorded `Kind Of Blue' a year later, regarded as one of the best jazz albums aver, but somewhat heretically I consider this to be better and more accessible.
This Rudy Van Gelder edition is pretty good. To my untutored ears the remastering is excellent, with a crisp clear tone that sounds good on my stereo. There is a good separation, and each musician can be heard clearly where it matters. There is an interesting extra in the form of the more hard bop Rangoon, which adds to the album considerably. A 5 star release of a 6 star album.
If you know and love Miles Davis from the late 1950s `Kind of Blue' period but haven't heard anything recorded under Julian `Cannonball' Adderley's own name, you're likely to love and appreciate `Somethin Else.' It's the perfect Blue Note companion to KoB and in the same groove, with superlative playing throughout from Adderley on alto sax and Miles on trumpet together with Hank Jones on piano, and a rhythm section made up of Art Blakey on drums and Sam Jones on bass.
It's difficult to pick out highlights on a collection so uniformly excellent, but the 11-minute opener `Autumn Leaves' is a true jazz classic which you'll think you've always known, so recognisably familiar is the melody. The title track, showcasing the horn interplay between Miles and Cannonball chasing each other all over the scales in an exuberant and up-tempo duet sounds like a cut which escaped from the KoB sessions, and `One for Daddy-O' with its slower tempo and stand-out uncomplicated melody also shines. In the sparse, clean and bluesy `Dancing in the Dark' we hear Cannonball at his soulful best, his horn soaring with a long, slow-tempo solo over a perfectly understated rhythm.
The music here is instantly accessible, with nothing unnecessarily complex or jarring. You can listen to the album again and again, no matter what you're doing, though one or two of the numbers are perhaps a little up-tempo for dinner-party background ambience. Overall `Somethin Else' is an indispensable jazz classic which stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the very best of Miles, Trane or Charlie Parker.
This album is full of beautifully constructed music (that'll be of the jazz variety of course). My girlfreind hates it but after she's fallen asleep i love to get it playing throught the old amp (she's a heavy sleeper) and get lost in its daydream like qualities. Autumn leaves is an absolute masterpiece the rest of the album doesn't quite match(for me) but my god the rest of its full of sublime moments, it sounds very refined and masterfully kept at a level where its at the same time chilled but quite exiting. Their are some catchy tunes (alisons uncle) and lots of really nice long solo's (like piano on 'one for daddy o' and the saxaphone on 'dancing in the dark' amongst quite afew other others), yea its a good album listen too it, i'm not a massive massive jazz fan so might be missing afew tricks i.e. there may be alot better stuff out there all i can say is it sure does it for me.
If you have only recently come over to jazz then I would definitely recommend you launch your jazz collection with this classic album from the Blue Note label produced in 1958, "Somethin' Else".Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis are two of the finest exponents of the genre.Here you can catch them in the early years of their illustrious careers.Art Blakey was also in the top echelon of jazz musicians,a tremendous drummer.One of my all time favourite evergreen tunes comes first on the album,Autumn Leaves.11 minutes of guaranteed bliss! One For Daddy O is my other favourite track.There is one added track which didn't appear on the original vinyl album,Bangoon. Buy it and enjoy it forever!
If you're new to jazz, I cannot recommend this album highly enough. It's friendly and welcoming but also so, so classy. Stunning performances from Adderley, Davis and Blakey and terrific piano from Hank Jones combine to make this one of the best albums of all time of any genre.