Sample of the Week #10 – Cannonball Adderley

Sample of the week #10 comes at ya like a Cannonball. Adderley to be exact. Read on!

Since this is the 10th post in the series I’d like to drop one of my absolute favorites. I sampled this track a few years back so It has a special place in my heart.

This week’s selection is Capricorn by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. This track was taken from a 1972 recording of the Quintet’s performance at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. Released in 1976 for their live album, Music, You All. For those not in the know Cannonball Adderley (Sept 15, 1928 – Aug 8, 1975) was a hard bob alto sax player and a certified jazz legend. Cannonball Adderley worked with Miles Davis and was part of his sextet for the seminal 1959 album: Kind of Blue.

Writer spotlight

Capricorn was written by another jazz great: George Duke. If you’ve never heard of George Duke (Jan 12, 1946 – Aug 5, 2013), then you are in for a treat. George Duke was/is a jazz legend. Duke was a keyboardist, producer, singer-songwriter, and many more roles. Suffice to say George Duke is primo jazz fusion,

George Duke

I wanted to highlight George Duke on this track  in particular. George Duke’s playing on this track is what instantly drew me to this song. As soon as I heard the opening electric piano intro and Roy McCurdy’s ultra subdued drums I knew. Any other producer knows what I’m talking about, when you hear it you got to chop it!

My Breakdown

Capricorn starts off with some Adderley musings before going into the song proper. It starts with a somber sounding electric piano played by George Duke, followed by Roy’s drums. As the song builds it stays very low key. Cannonball Adderley eventually joins in and plays the same riff as the piano. The sax adds a very soulful dynamic to an already very introspective sounding track.

For my beat I took a straight forward minimal approach. I wanted to keep that initial riff intact and since there were already drums on the track I didn’t want to conflict with that.  I really leaned into that mournful sound. One of my favorites for sure.

There are a way more ways to cut a track and If anyone ever wants to share there take on a track I would be happy to share/promote it and do a post on it! Just DM me on instagram. Until next time!


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