CANNONBALL ADDERLEY — Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! (aka V.I.P.-Jazz 3) (review)

CANNONBALL ADDERLEY — Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! (aka V.I.P.-Jazz 3) album cover Live album · 1966 · Soul Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
js
In the mid-60s, right before the whole electric jazz rock fad broke, there was an energetic style of hard bop that was picking up a pronounced driving back beat from the world of RnB and rock. Eddie Harris, Les McCann, Gene Harris and the Adderly brothers were all masters of this proto jazz-rock style that mixed the groovy swing of jazz with the driving aggression of the new rock sound. Acoustic instruments were still the norm at this time, meaning that the more earthy elements in the music were not buried under rock star volume. Cannonball Adderly’s “Mercy Mercy Mercy” is a fine lively live set in this tradition and if you enjoy Eddie Harris classics like “Freedom Jazz Dance” and “Cold Duck Time”, you’ll find a lot to like here.

I wouldn’t say that the two Adderly brothers are underrated, they have received a lot of accolades over the years, but maybe they need more recognition, I rarely hear a bum song, much less a bum album from either of these two. Every song on here is great, but the band really hits their stride on “Sticks”, a high octane “rocker” that features blistering solos from both Cannonball on alto sax and Nat on the cornet. The relaxed version of their big hit, pianist Joe Zawinul’s “Mercy Mercy Mercy”, sounds almost obligatory, but the rest of the album burns with fresh and inspired energy.
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