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Nat Adderley Jr. Launches Cannonball Quintet Tribute Project

Nat Adderley Jr.

“This is all so brand new to me,” laughs the pianist, arranger and composer Nat Adderley Jr., on the phone from a rehearsal space in Tallahassee, Fla. He’s discussing a new live tribute to the music of his uncle, saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, and father, cornet and trumpet player Nat Adderley, that hits San Diego’s ultra-posh Anthology tonight and Catalina’s in L.A. on March 24. “I can’t believe I’m talking to [JazzTimes] about it. I’m still in shock about the whole thing.”

His bewilderment is surprising, to say the least. After all, the young Adderley’s involvement with the historic Cannonball Adderley Quintet began early. At 11 he wrote and arranged a tune, the sharply grooving “I’m On My Way,” that was included on Cannonball’s 1967 release Why Am I Treated So Bad! At 15, he sat in with the group at the Monterey Jazz Festival, singing and playing his own “The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free,” a bold protest tune bordering on militant. It became the title track to an Adderley-band album in 1970.

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