Smooth jazz saxophonist Jessy J has named this classic album as one of her favourites. We love it too, here’s why:
Artist: Cannonball Adderley / Sergio Mendes
Album: Cannonball’s Bossa Nova
Released: Riverside Records – 1962, re-released on Capitol Records – 1968
Alto Sax: Julian “Cannonball” Adderley
Alto Sax: Paulo Moura
Trumpet: Pedro Paulo
Guitar: Durval Ferreira
Piano: Sergio Mendes
Bass: Octavio Bailly Jr
Drums: Dom Um Romao
Why it’s important:
Recorded at the start of the Bossa Nova craze, this album mixes the blistering playing of Cannonball with Mendes’ legendary Brazilian jazz ensemble featuring Paulo Moura on alto, and Pedro Paulo on trumpet. This is a great introduction to the power and grace of Cannonball’s playing.
JESSY J: My Classic Album
When I was about 15 I started listening a lot to Cannonball Adderley and Sergio Mendez. Hearing this album I knew I wanted to do music for ever. I made a commitment at that point.
My favourite track is “Groovy Sambas”. I was really inspired by the interplay between the percussion, the saxophone and the piano, and I loved how the saxophone is the main instrument and all of the other instruments were supporting it.
Up until then I had been hearing big band music with a full jazz band, or singers, but in this case the alto sax was the main melody and I loved it. Since I’m Latin American – my Dad’s from Mexico – I also really liked the percussion that’s in the track and the way it’s laid back and cool, and the complexity of the chords; even though I didn’t know it then I was interested in what they were playing.
I remember writing down “Groovy Sambas”. The whole solo, everything. And then I played it in my band for probably five years!