Things Are Getting Better is the 11th album by jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, and his second release on the Riverside label. The album was released in 1959, when I was 8, so that explains how I missed it on the first go around… Anyway, I had Things Are Getting Better on in the background this morning as I was working on this blog, so I haven’t really listen that closely to the album. But from what I heard and am listening to now, this one’s a keeper. I first chose Things Are Getting Better because of Milt Jackson‘s presence on the album, but then I saw the other players, i.e Wynton Kelly and Art Blakey and then I knew this was the first album to listen to from Cannonball……
This title provides ample evidence why alto Cannonball Adderley is considered one of the masters of his craft. Here he joins forces with Modern Jazz Quartet co-founder Milt Jackson on vibes to create a variety of sonic atmospheres. They are backed by the all-star ensemble of Wynton Kelly on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and the one and only Art Blakey on drums. The moody “Blues Oriental” opens the set with Jackson immediately diving in with his trademark fluid runs and shimmering intonation. Adderley counters with a light and lively line that weaves between the rhythm section. The optimistic “Things Are Getting Better” is a good-natured romp as the co-leads trade and cajole each other into some downright rollicking exchanges.
This set can be recommended without hesitation to all manner of jazz enthusiast, as it quite literally offers something for every taste. [Some reissues include two bonus tracks supplementing the original seven-song running order, alternate takes of “Serves Me Right” and “Sidewalks of New York.” Lindsay Planer -All Music
and here’s what others say….
This album is a near-perfect illustration: Cannonball and Bags rank among the most imaginative and blues-rooted improvisers of all times….Original Jazz Classics Collectors Guide
Here, truly is the meeting of giants….Very good Jackson, Adderley and Kelly make this on. John Tynan, Down Beat
Once again, appearing on Things Are Getting Better along side Cannonball are:
Milt Jackson Vibes
Wynton Kelly on piano,
Percy Heath on bass
Art Blakey on drums.
Here’s the title track from the album: “Things Are Getting Better”