The Artistry of… Cannonball Adderley

Sometimes I imagine jazz to be a language we all have forgotten in a moment, but that we all know how to speak. Then I see the reaction of an audience, excited by the sharing and conveyance of that language, and I know in that moment that the language is immediately, and collectively, understood. It’s not magic. It’s a human sweetness called communication.

Cannonball Adderley’s ways of music excite. I defy you to try to shut the door to your soul as the notes Adderley made, like words in language, come knocking, resonating, and teasing.

Adderley was a fusion master, ahead of the popular — and, much later, academically recognized — fusion era of jazz. He stirred soul and gospel together with R&B and lent the delicious concoction to hard bop like no one else.

A signature, adding lingo to the already exciting and ever evolving language. A language once heard, immediately understood. The reaction? That’s easy: a collective recognition.