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Mysteries of “Cannonball Adderley Quintet In Chicago”

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[English] [Japanese]

The release date was late 1960!

The very first surprise for me was the fact that “Quintet In Chicago” was originally planned for release as EmArcy MG-36161 ! I found the fact on the famous discography book The Mercury Labels - A Discography (by M.Ruppli & E. Novitsky, 1993), which was compiled probably by investigating huge amounts of master sheets at Mercury's warehouse. Anyway, this fact amazed me a lot to know more of the unknown facts about “Quintet In Chicago”.

      MG36161      Cannonball Adderley  (not released - transferred to Merc.MG20449)

This fact also proves a confusing period circa EmArcy's natural extinction, which probably was the direct reason of renumbering from MG-36161 to MG-20449. Other EmArcy titles, not only MG-36161 but also many others (MG-36149, MG-36151 thru MG-36153, MG-36156, MG-36159 thru MG-36161) were cancelled by similar reasons and renumbered to Mercury or Philips labels.

[Mercury Booklet 1960]

Casually, I made up my mind to examine catalogues and ads in the era to find further hints. I already obtained a Mercury's catalogue printed maybe in late 1960, and I read it in detail, from top to bottom, from start to end. Then I noticed that, MG-20449 / SR-60134 was not found on this catalogue, although it had such late titles as MG-20592 / SR-60250!

At first, I thought this catalogue just forgot to include MG-20449 / SR-60134. But most of other titles (up to MG-20592 / SR-60250) are on this catalogue. This fact strongly suggests, MG-20449 / SR-60134 was NOT released yet when this catalogue was printed. This hypothesis is rather natural. Yes, I was too convinced that all titles were released in numerical order without an exception.

[Down Beat Jazz Reviews 1960]

Later (in October 2004), I obtained a book - an yearbook of jazz record reviews of the famous Jazz magazine Down Beat. entitled “Down Beat's Jazz Record Reviews Volume V”. This hard-cover book contains almost all reviews on 1960 Down Beats. And on Page 31, I found the review of “Quintet In Chicago” LP which I am talking about. By the way, the rating on the LP was the highest FIVE-STARS.

This book also had reviews on other Mercury LPs such as MG-20586 / SR-60246 “After The Ball / Frank D'Rone” and MG-20588 / SR-60244 “The Two Of Us / Dinah Washington & Brook Benton”. Both titles can also be found on the Mercury catalogue I mentioned above.

All above facts prove that “Quintet In Chicago” was released in the late 1960! We'll have to examine all 1960 issues of Down Beat to determine more precisely which issue has the “Quintet In Chicago” review. Anyway, against our expectations, it did take almost two years from the recording session to the LP release!

In 1959, when “Quintet In Chicago” was recorded, Cannonball Adderley moved to Riverside label, and started to release a number of good-selling LPs. Also in 1959, John Coltrane moved to Atlantic label, and recorded one of his masterpieces “Giant Steps”. And as I mentioned in the previous page, Mercury label was struggling in the confused period 1959. I don't know the precise reason, but anyway it was really a fact that “Quintet In Chicago” took nearly two years to be released since it was recorded.

To summarize, the LP “Quintet In Chicago” was released in the late 1960. It is very reasonable and highly probable that both mono and stereo editions were released simultaneously.

It was soon discontinued against our expectations?


I found yet another interesting information. As you may know, the LP “Quintet In Chicago” was reissued as “Cannonball & Coltrane” (LM-82009 / LS-86009) under Limelight label in the late 1964. The booket inside the gatefold cover of the reissue has an interesting description like this:

      This album originally appeared on Mercury Records as
      Unavailable for several years, it is herein reissued
      because of historical importance.

Several years don't mean “one year” - it will mean more than a year. This description tells us that the original LP “Quintet In Chicago” (MG-20449 / SR-60134) was already discontinued in late 1962 or early 1963. Yes, against our expectations again, this masterpiece was short-lived.

One digression - after this reissue from Limelight label, another reissue was out in the late 1960s. It was SRW-16362 (stereo only) from budget Wing label, with the similar artwork as “Quintet In Chicago”. However, according to the Ruppli's discography book, “Limehouse Blues” was replaced with “The Tune Of Hickory Stick” by an unknown reason.

... continue reading this article ...

Copyright © 2004-2005 MATSUBAYASHI 'Shaolin' Kohji <shaolin@rhythmaning.org>
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