Jazz cornetist and composer Nat Adderley, a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame who played on nearly 100 albums, died Sunday at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. of complications from diabetes. He was 68.
The younger brother of late bebop saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Kansas City in 1997. Both brothers were natives of Tampa, Fla.
Nat Adderley started out in an Army band in the early ’50s, and with his brother took the New York jazz community by storm in 1955 when they sat in at a Greenwich Village nightclub with a top-notch combo comprising bassist Oscar Pettiford, drummer Kenny Clark and pianist Horace Silver. Soon after, the Adderleys were playing on their first album and went on to form their quintet in 1956.
The brothers went their separate ways in the late ’50s, with Cannonball joining Miles Davis’ group and Nat playing with J. J. Johnson and Woody Herman. The Adderley quintet was reunited in 1959, and the brothers remained together until Cannonball’s death from a stroke in 1975.
The composer of such jazz standards as “The Work Song” (popularized by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass) and “Jive Samba,” Nat Adderley was known for recordings by his own group and with his late brother’s Cannonball Adderley Quintet.
Since Cannonball’s death, Nat led his own quintets. His most notable sidemen were altoists Sonny Fortune and Vincent Herring.
In 1997, he joined the faculty of Florida Southern College as artist in residence. He also headlined and hosted the school’s annual Child of the Sun Jazz Festival for more than 10 years.
He is survived by wife Ann, daughter Alison and son Nat Adderley Jr., a keyboardist and longtime musical director for Luther Vandross.