Jazz Friday: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Cannonball Adderley (Wikipedia) is one of best alto saxophonists from the hard bop era. As a sideman, he played with Miles Davis including the Kind of Blue album. After he left Miles Davis, Cannonball started his own successful quintet. Cannonball viewed himself as a jazz educator, always trying to teach people about jazz and bringing younger players in his band.

One of those young players was Joe Zawinul (Wikipedia), who later headed one of the greatest fusion bands ever, Weather Report. While in Cannonball’s band, Joe wrote Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.

The song is more cross-over than traditional bebop but it sure is a fun listen. My favorite recording is the live one on Cannonball’s aptly named album, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Live at “The Club. In it, Cannonball gives this fantastic introduction that makes me smile every time I listen to it, especially when faced adversity for which I am not prepared. Finally, I can’t introduce you to this song without at least pointing to my second favorite recording of it, done by the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1968.