Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Because it’s been too long since you’ve heard it…

Cannonball Adderley, alto saxophone; Nat Adderley, cornet; Joe Zawinul, piano; Victor Gaskin, bass; Roy McCurdy, drums. Los Angeles, October 20, 1966.

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  1. Valerie Bishop says

    every time i hear this on the radio, i get a little teary-eyed. i miss those guys so much, including Walter Booker, who i believe followed Victor Gaskin. i’m so grateful that i got to hear that band for so many years.

    • Doug Ramsey says

      I miss them, too, Valerie. When they played New Orleans, which in the days of Al Hirt’s club was often, we all did a lot of hanging out. The last time I saw Nat, long after Julian died, he asked me, “Where did you and Cannon always disappear to?”

      “Vaucresson, to eat, of course,” I told him.

      As I wrote in Jazz Matters: Reflections on the Music and Some of its Makers,

      The enduring image is of Cannonball surrounded by people, simultaneously laughing, expounding, questioning and consuming, inevitably taking time for just one more dish.

      “Yes, Mama,” he’d tell the proprietress, “I think there’s room for the bread pudding.”

      If Zawinul, the composer of “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” had lived, he would be 80 in just over a week—July 7.

      • Valerie Bishop says

        the last time i saw Nat (long after Cannon’s demise), it was at a tribute to them at the Hollywood Bowl. he couldn’t really talk anymore but he was happy seeing old friends and i have pictures of us smiling and hugging.

        the last time i saw Joe was about 5 years ago at a hotel in Rotterdam after he finished playing at the North Sea Jazz Festival. he was checking out of the hotel and he was frail and sickly but still like the bull he was. even weakened, he was like a prizefighter after giving his best in the ring. we mostly talked about his wife, my friend, Maxine, who was terminally ill and had been in the hospital for the past 6 months. she passed about 10 days later and he died about 6 weeks after her. they were my friends since the ’60s in NYC, then in CA, back to NY and again in CA.

        i, like you, Doug, treasure my memories with these guys. Cannon was so smart and passionate and funny. i’m getting carried away here now and could go on forever with my memories, so i’ll just thank you for your blog and post and will stay tuned.

  2. says

    Many thanks, Doug,

    This is fantastic and uplifting music. I particularly love the dynamics of it and the soaring alto sax.

    You made my day.