Selection Limehouse Blues (Braham/Furber)
Cannonball Adderley (as) John Coltrane (ts) Wynton Kelly (piano) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (d) engineer Bernie Clapper, recorded at Universal Recording Studio B, Chicago, IL, February 3, 1959 – one month before “Kind of Blue”, the Miles Davis Sextet sans Miles.
This is a classic straight ahead driving session, and its nice once in a while to have Miles Davis sit out – on all tracks. Adderley’s exuberant alto crosses the streams with Coltrane’s relentlessly exploring tenor, both riding high on New York’s nonpareil rhythm section.
Adderley’s alto here really has wings. He soars, he swoops, the sheer joyful exhilaration carries you along a rollercoaster ride. If you are sat in your armchair you should throw your hands in the air, no wonder Adderley is many people’s favourite alto, though the list is a long one. The contrast couldn’t be more delicious with Coltrane stepping up to the plate to match Adderley’s bubbling pace, but probing, nagging, burrowing in the lower register, determinedly Coltrane and not Cannonball, a sweet and sour perfect mix. You have got to love this album, it is one of those essential anchor points from which to follow the evolution of the world’s greatest music, modern jazz.
LJC’s Record Collector Quiz
Polls are fun, but we need variety and I feel a pub-quiz coming on. First, crib notes, you can peruse the hint sheet before tackling the questions.
I’ll start you off with an easy question, and then progressively tax the old grey matter. Pour yourself a drink, get your reflexes tuned, and press that buzzer to be first to answer the question.
1. How many musicians are there in the Cannonball Adderley Quintet?
2. Can you name the musician who is the leader of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet?
3. In which city was Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago recorded?
4. Which well-known tenor saxophone player appears alongside Cannonball Adderley in the Cannonball Adderley Quintet?
5. Which type of microphone was used to record Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago?
6. And finally, are the outer dimensions on a deep groove 1959 Pitman-pressing:
a: 2.734375″ , b: 2.78125″, or c: 2.8125″?
If you scored 5 or less, you show promise but have some way to go to achieve collector-jedi status. If you scored 6 correctly, you are WB . If you scored 7 or more, congratulations, you have all the attributes required to become a successful record seller on Ebay
Now back to the serious business in hand, the Adderley in Chicago vinyl
Vinyl: Mercury MG20449 (post updated August 31, on basis of new information)
Mono US pressing, not to be confused with the stereo Mercury SR 60134, Limelight LM 82009, or any of the many other reissues where it was often retitled Cannonball & Coltrane. However, as is often the case, there is more to the story of this recording than might first appear (hat tip Felix).
The label here is one of five different variations discovered by Mercurologist , Matsubayashi ‘Shaolin’ Kohji. (I have taken the liberty of reproducing his label scans here, for ease of reference, I claim no credit, and I recommend you read the whole thing here)
Note the primary difference between 1 and 4 is the presence of line-spacing between the track titles, and the shade of grey.”It is highly probable that this (1) label type is the earliest one of MG-20449“. ie the LJC copy, for which I take no credit either since I had no idea of the variation that existed, and the copy I chanced on was simply the only one on offer, and I am certain the seller had no idea of its provenance either. Pure chance, and there is no certainty about it either
However, it gets better. The Matrix carries the “post fix” MS1, rather confirming Shaolin’s hypothesis about the label chronology and the matrix reference, the earliest edition.
Though it is not all good – the inscrutable (until now) “five bar gate” etching in the runout at the 9 o’clock position indicates a possible mother sequence and stamper generation, in this case both suggest a “second”.
However, as we all know, nothing in record manufacturing is always straightforward, such as the number of times we see a matrix reference A-1 or even A-2, simply because the first attempt was judged not good enough by the engineer, who scrapped it. Equally, as was sometimes practice, pressing may have been commissioned from two or more plants, each of which simultaneously received different copies to work with. More importantly to the audiophile rather than the archaeologist, a pressing of true “original” status may still be a brilliant first or the lamentable last off the first stamper, so it is no guarantee of audio performance.
As Shaolin notes:
it’s just a too-easy guess…we need more strong facts and many more examples of the matrix stamps to determine the answer.
I don’t have an answer. Until now I didn’t even know there was a question.
Shaolin’s reseach arrives at these tentative conclusions about the Adderley’s recording:
“was originally intended for release as EmArcy MG-36161 / (stereo no. unknown) in 1959;
but cancelled by unknown reason, then changed to Mercury MG-20449 / SR-60134;
furthermore it was NOT released in 1959. it was late 1960 when the LP was finally released;
there is only one variation for stereo/mono jacket cover each;
there are many label variations, and it’s rather hard to determine which was used very first;
but if I dare to say, the label design which was very common in the similar era should be original 1st pressing;
that is to say, [M1] or [M2] for mono issue MG-20449, and [S1] for stereo issues SR-60134;
the earliest copies should have DG (deep-grooves) on the label
dead wax of the earliest copies should have
SRmatrix prefix and
unfortunately, I have not found
MS1copies of [S1] yet;
copies whose matrix’ prefix starts with
SRCwere probably pressed at the Columbia’s plant; (
MGTis still unknown)
the LP seemed to be discontinued in late 1962 or early 1963.
It may be true, or it may not be – so what is the real story?”
You have got to marvel at the tenacious quest for truth, and the commitment to evidence based on direct observations (not a computer model in sight). Bravo.
RELEASE DATE: 1959
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US
DESCRIPTION: Rare original 6-track mono vinyl LP on black label with silver text, housed in glossy pasted picture sleeve. Quintet personnel: Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley, John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. This session was cut at the Sutherland Hotel in 1959, while the quintet were working as sidemen for Miles Davis
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Pasted rear of sleeve has a neatly repaired 2cm tear, a very faint radio library rubber stamp, a small sticker stain and 3 very small ball point pen marks
SLEEVE CONDITION: Very Good
RECORD CONDITION: Excellent