Saturday, October 5, 2013

Another Week, Another Song

This one has no lyrics.  The best description I've ever heard of it was the spoken introduction to the song:
You know, sometimes we're not prepared for adversity.  When it happens sometimes, we're caught short.  We don't know exactly how to handle it when it comes up.  Sometimes, we don't know just what to do when adversity takes over. .  And I have advice for all of us, I got it from my pianist Joe Zawinul who wrote this tune.  And it sounds like what you're supposed to say when you have that kind of problem.  It's called “Mercy…..Mercy…..Mercy.”

"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," from Cannonball Adderly's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy: Live At "The Club."  This is a remarkable album in a number of ways.  First of all, all the songs are incredible.  The first side of the album consists of three songs:  "Fun,",  ("This song was written by Nat Addrely, our brass section.  He comes from a distinguished family.  The only reason we played this song was so we could couple it with his newest composition...") "Games," and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy."  The flip side, also three songs--"Sticks," "Hippodelphia," and "A Sack o' Woe," the last song being an amazing blues.  (Cannonball composed "Sticks" and "A Sack o' Woe;" Nat, did "Hippodelphia.")  Second, the playing is amazing.  Cannonball on alto and Nat on cornet play beautifully together and when they are playing against each other.  Victor Gaskin (bass) and Roy McCurdy (drums) are a solid rhythm section.  And Joe Zawinul's keyboard work throughout the album is worth the price of the album all by itself. 
"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" is a remarkable buoyant and joyous blues, and Zawinul's playing it is breathtaking.  I could listen to this song--and to the entire album--over and over again.  And I have.  It will make you feel better when you're down, and it will lift your spirits higher even when you are felling good.  It makes me happy every time I hear it.

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