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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Branch Out" and Buy This CD
In writing first time reviews of Original Jazz Classics discs that are sadly going out-of-print, I was surprised to discover that no one had written about this CD. "Branching Out" is cornetist Nat Adderley's first session for Riverside, and his first without brother Cannonball at his side. This September 1958 session features Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone (playing...
Published on January 9, 2009 by Michael B. Richman

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Throw me a bone!
This album comes on like an eager puppy, with Nat's cheerful cornet and the slightly cheesy funkiness of the Three Sounds. Only tenor sax Rottweiler Johnny Griffin turns up the ferocity a little, but, alas, he doesn't play on every track. And then there's the, um, small matter of this album's desecratory treatment of Monk's "Well You Needn't". Nat decides to speed up and...
Published on February 5, 2009 by Matthew Watters


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Branch Out" and Buy This CD, January 9, 2009
This review is from: Branching Out (Audio CD)
In writing first time reviews of Original Jazz Classics discs that are sadly going out-of-print, I was surprised to discover that no one had written about this CD. "Branching Out" is cornetist Nat Adderley's first session for Riverside, and his first without brother Cannonball at his side. This September 1958 session features Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone (playing on five of seven tracks, the other two are quartet only), and the rhythm trio known as The Three Sounds -- Gene Harris on piano, Andy Simpkins on bass and Bill Dowdy on drums -- who would go on to larger success with their top selling albums for Blue Note. Overall this is a solid date, as are all of Nat's OJC discs. Unfortunately, the majority of these titles are being deleted (only "Work Song" has been reissued in the Keepnews Collection thus far), so interested parties should "branch out" soon before this tree gets chopped down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful find, June 28, 2012
This review is from: Branching Out (MP3 Music)
It was pure serendipity that I came across this album. I normally focus on Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan and a hand full of others on trumpet and cornet. And when it came to the Adderly brothers it was Cannonball who got my attention. Somehow I kept overlooking Nat until I purchased a Three Sounds compilation, 8 Classic Albums, that contained this gem.

The sound samples on this page will give a strong hint about the music. However, although I love the Three Sounds and think that Gene Harris' piano, Andrew Simpkins' bass and Bill Dowdy's drums provide perfect backing for Nat (and Johnny Griffin), it's Nat who makes this album magical. It should go without saying that I am in the process of purchasing a lot more of Nat's work!

I do not share the opinions of others that Monk's Well You Needn't was ruined. Perhaps I have listened to too much Mingus where he and Dannie Richmond stretch and compress time to be jarred by tempo changes. Personally I enjoyed that track as much as the others. But that is personal taste and the comments about the Monk track are as valid as mine.

My favorite track is Don't Get Around Much Anymore, but I'm a sucker for Ellington tunes. Branching Out with Griffin's strong tenor is another favorite. For me every track on this album is a treat.

One parting word about the Three Sounds - I cannot think of a better rhythm section to showcase Nat's and Johnny Griffin's talents. Gene Harris is one of my favorite pianists, ranking alongside Red Garland and Wynton Kelly (but a notch below Teddy Wilson, Bud Powell and Monk) in my personal pantheon of pianists. Andrew Simpkins is a superb bassist who somehow got overlooked by history, and Dowdy's aggressive drum style is well suited to this session.

If you love Nat Adderly this is an album to consider. If you are a Three Sounds fan, this is also a great addition to your library because they are coequals with the horns on this 1958 album.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Throw me a bone!, February 5, 2009
This review is from: Branching Out (Audio CD)
This album comes on like an eager puppy, with Nat's cheerful cornet and the slightly cheesy funkiness of the Three Sounds. Only tenor sax Rottweiler Johnny Griffin turns up the ferocity a little, but, alas, he doesn't play on every track. And then there's the, um, small matter of this album's desecratory treatment of Monk's "Well You Needn't". Nat decides to speed up and simplify the melody, losing an enormous amount of what makes this Monk tune harmonically interesting, and then sets the head to a Latin beat. He might have actually pulled this concoction off if the entire piece had stayed in Latin rhythm, but the musicians immediately takes the easy way out, shifting to standard jazz time for the soloing and thereby turning a Monk classic into a characterless vehicle for "blowing". With that, this one goes straight to the dog house.
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Branching Out
Branching Out by Nat Adderley (Audio CD - 1994)
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