As Orrin Keepnews, producer of “Things Are Getting Better”
mentions in his liner notes, this album is another fortuitous
example of what can happen in the recording studio when
topnotch musicians assemble for a “blowing” date, especially
when they are personally and musically compatible.
Everyone truly “clicks” here. Recorded in New York on
October 28, 1958, this was the first time that Cannonball
Adderley and Milt Jackson played together, and the result
was pure magic. At the time, alto saxophonist Adderley
was a member of Miles Davis’ sextet, while Jackson was
on vibes with the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ). Adderley
(1928-1975) was a superb improviser here, with a full,
rich tone that was “front and center” in the recording mix.
Jackson (1923-1999) also sounded great and MJQ bassist,
Percy Heath, joined them for this gig. With pianist Wynton
Kelly and drummer Art Blakey rounding out the rhythm
section, we have a true “all-star” team, and I can’t
imagine a better one.
For the 1989 remastered release that I heard, alternate
takes of two songs, “Serves Me Right” and
“The Sidewalks of New York” were included, bringing the
total running time of this disc to 54 minutes. It’s excellent,
straight-ahead Jazz. I give it top marks!