JAZZ : RETROSPECTIVE : *** NAT ADDERLEY “In the Bag” <i> Jazzland</i>
In this 1962 New Orleans session, cornetist Nat and brother Julian (Cannonball) Adderley recorded with three musicians whose work mirrored the blues essence found in so much of the music from this rich region: the earthy tenor sax soloist Nat Perilliat, drummer James Black and pianist Ellis Marsalis, father of the then-20-month-old Branford and 7-month-old Wynton.
Delights are plentiful on this unpretentious blues-funk-bop melange. Black wrote two of the tunes; another New Orleans jazzman, clarinetist Alvin Battiste, contributed a pair, and Nat Adderley brought in four. One of these, a ballad called “R.S.V.P.,” he co-wrote with Marsalis, whose hard-cooking piano here is fully mature.
Except for two short, pseudo-funk items at the end--originally released in a failed attempt to land a hit single--these are high-grade examples of a brand of small-group jazz that was the hot idiom of its day. Almost three decades later, it still sounds spirited and fresh.
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five (a classic).