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June 1997

Nat Adderley Quintet
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Evidence Music

This album showcases Nat Adderley in a band full of familiar cohorts, which include rhythm section stalwarts Walter Booker and Jimmy Cobb, as well as seasoned young veterans Antonio Hart on saxophones and Rob Bargad at the piano.

Being a working band, the routines are crisp and well-played, and also include a couple of numbers of Nat singing, a routine brought over from his live club performances. The singing won't leave Johnny Hartman, or even Dizzy Gillespie, rolling over in their graves, but it adds a nice warm and friendly touch to the proceedings.

Much more important is the music, soulful and spirited. It's a fine mixture of bop-inspired funk and ballads, of original pieces and swinging mainstays. The Mercy, Mercy, Mercy title is in tribute to brother Cannonball, and specifically to his sound from that era. This disc lovingly captures that spirit, and while I'd rather hear the original, this is a competently crafted contemporary substitute, with an air of authenticity.

Originally published in June 1997
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