Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley (September 15, 1928 - August 8, 1975) was a jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s. Adderley is remembered for his 1966 single "Mercy Mercy Mercy", a crossover hit on the pop charts, and for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis, including on the epochal album Kind of Blue (1959). He was the brother of jazz cornetist Nat Adderley, a longtime member of his band. The name 'Canonball' is supposed to have originated from his being nicknamed 'cannibal' in his youth, on account of his prodigious eating Early life and career Originally from Tampa, Florida, Adderley moved to New York in the mid-1950s.
His nickname derived originally from "cannibal", a title imposed on him by high school colleagues as a tribute to his voracious appetite. His educational career was long established prior to teaching applied instrumental music classes at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Cannonball moved to Tallahassee, Florida when his parents obtained teaching positions at Florida A&M University. Both Cannonball and brother Nat played with Ray Charles when Charles lived in Tallahassee during the early 1940s.
Cannonball was a local legend in Florida until he moved to New York City in 1955, where he lived in Corona, Queens. It was in New York during this time that Adderley's prolific career began. Adderley visited the Cafe Bohemia, where Oscar Pettiford's group was playing that night. Adderley had brought his saxophone into the club with him, primarily because he feared that it would be stolen, and he was asked to sit in as the saxophone player was late.Make Cannonball Adderley Playlist