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Work Song (Nat Adderley album)

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Work Song is an album by jazz cornetist Nat Adderley, recorded in January 1960 and released on the Riverside label. It features Adderley with Bobby Timmons, Wes Montgomery, Sam Jones, Percy Heath, Keter Betts and Louis Hayes in various combinations from a trio to a sextet, with the unusual sound of pizzicato cello to the fore on some tracks.[1]

Work Song
Work Song.jpg
Studio album by
RecordedJanuary 25 & 27, 1960
GenreJazz, hard bop
Nat Adderley chronology
Much Brass
Work Song
Thats Right!

The title tune was given lyrics and covered the following year by Oscar Brown Jr. on his album Sin And Soul...and then some and has become a standard in both vocal and instrumental forms. It has also been covered in French by Claude Nougaro as "Sing Sing song".



The album is recognised as one of Adderley's finest. The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow awarded the album 4½ stars, calling it a "near-classic" and stating: "Nat Adderley is heard throughout in peak form, playing quite lyrically. Highly recommended".[2] The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded the album 4 stars, stating: "Work Song is the real classic, of course, laced with a funky blues feel but marked by some unexpectedly lyrical playing."[3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [2]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz    [3]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide     [4]

Track listingEdit

All compositions by Nat Adderley except where noted.

  1. "Work Song" – 4:15
  2. "Pretty Memory" (Bobby Timmons) – 3:54
  3. "I've Got a Crush on You" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 2:55
  4. "Mean to Me" (Fred E. Ahlert, Roy Turk) – 5:01
  5. "Fallout" – 4:54
  6. "Sack of Woe" – 4:28
  7. "My Heart Stood Still" (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) – 6:25
  8. "Violets for Your Furs" (Tom Adair, Matt Dennis) – 3:50
  9. "Scrambled Eggs" (Sam Jones) – 3:20
  • Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios in New York City on January 25, 1960 (tracks 2, 4, 5 & 7) and January 27, 1960 (tracks 1, 3, 6, 8 & 9)

"I've Got a Crush on You" seems incomplete : no theme played in intro until the end, just chords to support improvisations, may be an accident in mastertape



  1. ^ Riverside Records discography accessed February 17, 2010
  2. ^ a b Yanow, S. Allmusic Review accessed February 17, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.). London: Penguin. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-141-02327-4.
  4. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 5. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.