Acoustic Sounds

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet

Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago



Label: Mercury Verve/Acousticsounds

Produced By: Jack Tracy

Engineered By: Bernie Clapper

Lacquers Cut By: Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound Nashville

By: Michael Fremer

August 4th, 2023


Jazz Post-Bop



A Month Before "Kind of Blue" Miles' Guys Snuck Away While In Chicago To Record This

hardly modal

In Chicago, February of 1959 while playing at The Sutherland Hotel as members of Miles Davis's now classic "Kind of Blue" sextet, the group, minus Miles assembled at Bill Putnam's Universal Recording Studio at 46 E. Walton Street and laid down this album led by Cannonball Adderley.

It was only a month before "Kind of Blue" but there's nothing modal about this almost corny by comparison set of "chipper" tunes taken post-bop style. I mean, why listen to these guys play "Limehouse Blues" when you can get the better sounding rendition on "Jazz at the Pornshop"? Just kidding.

Actually I just wrote that to incite you. Yes, it begins with "Limehouse Blues" and then segues to "Stars Fell on Alabama" (I almost wrote "on Tommy Tuberville" but my partners requested I avoid politics, so I didn't go there) but there are a pair of Coltrane originals and of course the well-oiled (but not sounding well-lubricated) group featuring Cobb, Chambers, Coltrane and Wynton Kelly lay the tracks down with energy and precision.

Best way to approach this one is to start on side two with Coltrane's "Grand Central". It sure beats "Limehouse Blues". That's followed by a standard, "You're a Weaver of Dreams", and ends with "The Sleeper", another Coltrane composition. On "Grand Central" Cannonball and Coltrane trade licks and the going is good. These guys were a precision corp at this time and the playing is exciting.

The sound is somewhat problematic hard "left/right", as if it was intended to be blended to mono but don't try if you've got a mono switch. Things kind of disappear. The hard left/right can be distracting, but the recording quality is high. I had to dock it one to 7 because of the hard/left right.

The presentation is first rate Verve/Acoustics Sounds series laminated "Tip-on" jacket and the classic cover is beautifully reproduced. This new mastering sounds considerably better than the Japanese pressing I will be selling and the pressing was perfect.

If you want to hear a month before "Kind of Blue" changed the jazz landscape, here it is. I didn't have time to research what Miles was playing with these cats over at the Sutherland Hotel but I doubt it was "Limehouse Blues"!

Music Specifications

Catalog No: SR 60134/B0036832-01

Pressing Plant: Quality Record Pressings


Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Weight: 180 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Source: original analog master tapes

Presentation: Single LP


  • 2023-08-04 09:17:41 PM

    Come on wrote:

    I bought this one and still have the Speakers Corner release, which not only has the nicer (but as far as I know not more true to the original) colored cover, but also sounds clearly better to my ears. More air, less thin cymbals, better separation from speakers, little more organic sound. I didn’t expect this. I wonder if Chad compared and preferred his new release.

    • 2023-08-05 02:16:51 AM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      Can you look on the inner groove area and see if it's got Kevin Gray's scribe? Or EBS? (Emil Berliner Studios)?

      • 2023-08-05 02:51:29 PM

        Come on wrote:

        I came from the awareness that every US label record, Speakers Corner released that was not cut by KG or another US engineer, was and is from a tape copy. That’s why I expected noticable improvement from the AP release here.

        After you asked I saw there’s SR in the runout, so probably Stan Ricker cut it, which would explain why it had the potential to sound better and it does.

        • 2023-08-07 04:19:32 PM

          Bertram wrote:

          The "SR" is part of the serial number. The matrix number of my SC copy is SR60135 320 1Y2 / 2Y2. "320" means that the laquer was cut at Polygram/Universal in Langenhagen (Hannover). Within the inner grooves i see a "W" or "B", this does not match with any of the well known mastering engineers. I totally agree with Come on that the SC offers a far more pleasant sound, the AS is a bit dull with rolled off highs. Probably Speakers Corner had a fresh first generation tape in 1999, while RKS used a worn original tape in 2023.

          • 2023-08-08 04:12:47 PM

            Come on wrote:

            Thanks, I asked Speakers Corner and they can’t tell details anymore.

            I’d describe sound differences differently (the SC sounds a little more open, 3D and organic), but yes it definitely sounds a little better. Anyway it’s no huge difference and I’m convinced both come from the same kind of tape generation, if not from the same tape. The AP is not much worse sounding, it could be mastering choices and mastering equipment differences.

            The only thing I wonder about is, that from what you say about the runout groove results, the SC must have been cut in Germany, which should mean from a copy. Doesn’t sound so, especially in comparison to the AP if this was from the original master. So finally we can be happy to have great sound, no matter what’s the source.