Adderley, Nat(haniel Sr.)

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Adderley, Nat(haniel Sr.)

Adderley, Nat(haniel Sr.), jazz cornetist; brother of Cannonball Adderley; b. Tampa, Fla., Nov. 25, 1931; d. Lakeland, Fla., Jan. 3, 2000. Under his father’s and brother’s influence, Nat took up trumpet in 1946, switched to cornet in 1950, and played in an army band from 1951-53. After touring with Lionel Hampton (1954–55), he joined his brother’s first quintet until late 1957, then worked with J. J. Johnson and a Woody Herman small group before rejoining his brother from September 1959 through Cannonball’s death in July 1975. Nat’s “Work Song” and “Jive Samba” were among the group’s most popular compositions. He led his own quintets beginning in 1975, and sometimes played mellophone and French horn. In 1997, Adderley had his right leg amputated in Lakeland, Fla., due to diabetes. He retired from playing music, and died from complications of his disease in early 2000. His son, Nat Adderley Jr., is an accomplished pianist and longtime musical director for popular singer Luther Vandross.


Introducing N. A. (1955); Work Songs (1960); In the Bag (1962); Little Big Horn (1964); Sayin Somethin’ (1966); Scavenger (1968); Little New York Midtown Music (1978); On the Move (1983); Talkin’ About You (1990); We Remember (1995).


Orrin Keepnews, “N. A., in the View from Within.” Jazz Writing 1948–1987 (N.Y., 1988).

—Lewis Porter/Gig Brown