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Jazz Night In America

'The Black Messiah' And The Legacy Of Cannonball Adderley

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Cannonball Adderley sits with his saxophone.
Getty Images

Cannonball Adderley sits with his saxophone.

Cannonball Adderley was a mere 46 when he died, of natural causes, in 1975. An alto saxophonist of robust intellect and irrefutable soul, he left a monumental legacy during his two decades in the spotlight — as a member of the Miles Davis Sextet, an exemplar of 1960s soul jazz and the leading avatar of a brand of post-bop modernism with popular appeal.

This episode of Jazz Night in America takes a fond look at that legacy, illuminating it from multiple angles. Guided by our host, self-avowed Cannonball fanatic Christian McBride, we'll hear from some of Adderley's former bandmates, like drummer Roy McCurdy and tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts. We'll spend quality time with Patrick Bartley Jr., a young alto saxophonist who has taken Cannonball Adderley's music and message to heart. And we'll pull the curtain back on The Black Messiah, a 1970 album that has come to be seen as a classic.

Musicians

"The Mighty Cannonball Adderley" band

Patrick Bartley: alto saxophone; Julian Lee: tenor saxophone; Bruce Harris: trumpet; Chris Pattishall: piano; Alexander Claffy: bass; Evan Sherman, drums

Support comes from

"The Chocolate Nuisance" from The Black Messiah

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley: alto saxophone; Nat Adderley: cornet; George Duke: electric piano; Mike Deasy: guitar; Walter Booker: bass; Roy McCurdy: drums; Airto Moreira, Buck Clarke: percussion

Credits

Host: Christian McBride; Producer: Alex Ariff; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Recording Engineer: Rob Macomber; Executive Producers: Amy Niles, Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundman; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey; Production Assistant: Sarah Kerson; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed

Copyright 2019 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.
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