Cannonball Adderley: Fiddler On The Roof

The Songs:

  1. Fiddler On The Roof
  2. To Life
  3. Sabbath Prayer
  4. Chavalah
  5. Sewing Machine
  6. Now I Have Everything
  7. Do You Love Me?
  8. Matchmaker, Matchmaker
  9. Sweet Georgia Bright (Bonus Track)
  10. Island Blues (Bonus Track)
  11. Little Boy With The Sad Eyes (Bonus Track)
  12. Goodbye Charlie (Bonus Track)


  • Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone
  • Charles Lloyd – tenor saxophone, flute
  • Nat Adderley – cornet
  • Joe Zawinul – piano
  • Sam Jones – bass
  • Louis Hayes – drums

(This week’s “Album of the Week”  feature is in celebration of my school’s production of Fiddler On The Roof that several of my students and I were in. Congratulations to the entire cast, crew, and orchestra for a fine production!)

In October of 1964, (just a few days after I was born), Cannonball Adderley took his sextet, (with new member Charles Lloyd, who had replaced Yusuf Lateef), into the recording studio to record several selections from a new Broadway musical that had premiered the previous month: Fiddler On The Roof. His selection of this material must have seemed odd at the time. (No one would have guessed that Fiddler would become the first musical on Broadway to give over 3,000 performances.) Nonetheless, the members of the sextet give inspired performances throughout the album. In addition to some of the blockbuster numbers from the show, such as “Matchmaker,” “To Life,” and “Sabbath Prayer,” the album also included lesser known numbers such as the “Chavalah” sequence, “Now I Have Everything,” (a song often cut in many productions, including the 1971 film version), and the “Sewing Machine” song, which was cut before the show even premiered. (The CD reissue of the album includes four unrelated bonus tracks that were recorded during a session a few weeks earlier.) Although most of the songs never made it into Cannonball’s live sets, he did occasionally perform the title track, which appeared on the albums “Money In The Pocket” and “Radio Nights,” as well as on a “Best Of” compilation.

Fiddler On The Roof was one of Adderley’s first recordings for Capitol Records, one among a string of popular and classic recordings for the label by Adderley, including “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Country Preacher,” and “The Black Messiah.”  (Buy it here.)

Suggested Reading:

Sholem Aleichem. Tevye The Dairyman And The Railroad Stories.

Suggested Viewing:

Cannonball Adderley Sextet. Live In ’63.