Nancy Wilson – Nancy Wilson / Cannonball Adderley

More Cannonball Adderley

More Pop and Jazz Vocal Albums

  • This dynamic collaboration finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one and an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side two
  • Here is the sound we love at Better Records – both sides are full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with Wilson’s vocals unusually smooth and present
  • An inspired collection that showcases the versatility of both Wilson and Adderley (who plays five instrumentals)
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Given the play list and the outstanding artists performing it, why any serious jazz collection would be without this classic album is difficult to comprehend.” [Hear hear!]

Another Record We’ve Discovered with (Potentially) Excellent Sound…

and One We Will Probably Never Shootout Again

Some records never justified the time and money required to find Hot Stamper pressings of them in order to make it worth our while to do them again. This is one such album, and the link above will take you to many more.

This early ’60s LP has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back.

Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real Nancy Wilson (and Cannonball Adderley) performing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of older recordings (this one is almost 60 years old!), I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we’ve played can serve as a guide.

What the best sides of this early Stereo Capitol pressing have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1962. The richness of the sound of this pressing is what earned it such high sonic grades
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange with all the instruments of Adderley’s band having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more — there always is — but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What to Listen For

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top (to keep Adderley’s alto sax from sounding congested, hard or shrill) did best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we’ve heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information. Strings and brass with get shrill and congested without enough top end air to breathe.

Tube smear is common to most pressings from the ’50s and ’60s and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich. (Full sound is especially critical to the horns, specifically the sound of Adderley’s sax here; any blare, leanness or squawk ruins much of the fun, certainly, at the loud levels the record should be playing at.)

The Players

Nancy Wilson – vocals (tracks 1,3,5,7,9,11)
Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone
Nat Adderley – cornet
Louis Hayes – drums
Sam Jones – double bass
Joe Zawinul – piano

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Save Your Love For Me (Vocal)
Teaneck (Instrumental)
Never Will I Marry (Vocal)
I Can’t Get Started (Instrumental)
The Old Country (Vocal)
One Man’s Dream (Instrumental)

Side Two

Happy Talk (Vocal)
Never Say Yes (Instrumental)
The Masquerade Is Over (Vocal)
Unit 7 (Instrumental)
A Sleepin’ Bee (Vocal)

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

An excellent collaboration of Nancy Wilson’s voice with Cannonball Adderley’s alto sax from the early ’60s. While this 1961 recording was the first time Wilson was with Adderley in the studio, it was not the first time they had worked together. After singing with Rusty Bryant’s band, Wilson had worked with Adderley in Columbus, Ohio. (It was there that Adderley encouraged her to go to N.Y.C. to do some recording, eventually leading to this session.) Not entirely a vocal album, five of the 12 cuts are instrumentals.

…Given the play list and the outstanding artists performing it, why any serious jazz collection would be without this classic album is difficult to comprehend.

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