Down Beat (1960) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...warm, fresh and sunny... Montgomery's playing is of the highest order...Recommended strongly..."
Personnel: Nat Adderley (cornet); Sam Jones, Keter Betts (cello, bass); Bobby Timmons (piano); Wes Montgomery (guitar); Percy Heath (bass); Louis Hayes (drums).
Recorded in New York, New York on January 25 & 27, 1960. Originally released on Riverside (1167). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1989, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Work Song is a near-classic by cornetist Nat Adderley. Adderley utilizes a cornet-cello-guitar front line with Sam Jones and Wes Montgomery, along with a top-notch rhythm section pianist including Bobby Timmons, Percy Heath, or Keter Betts on bass and drummer Louis Hayes. First up is a fine early performance of his greatest hit, "Work Song." He also helps introduce Cannonball Adderley's "Sack O' Woe." Four songs use a smaller group, with Timmons absent on "My Heart Stood Still," which finds Keter Betts on cello and Jones on bass; "Mean to Me" featuring Nat backed by Montgomery, Betts, and Hayes; and two ballads ("I've Got a Crush on You" and "Violets for Your Furs") interpreted by the Adderley-Montgomery-Jones trio. No matter the setting, Nat Adderley is heard throughout in peak form, playing quite lyrically. Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow