In short, in 1961, jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley – remembered for his 1966 single “Mercy Mercy Mercy,” and for his work with on one of Miles Davis’ most appreciated albums, “Kind of Blue” (1959) – narrated a children’s introduction to jazz music, titled “A Child’s Introduction to Jazz.”
While it was made for the kiddies, I think it can also be appreciated by adults who need an intro to the art form. Documenting the major styles and great performers that launched in New Orleans during the turn of the 20th century, when an exceedingly
vibrant, celebratory subculture emerged, and fueled the birth of the music, the tutorial was part of a broader series of educational albums for children, and included some of Jazz’s legends, like Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, and others.
I should mention that, award-winning film and theatre writer/director George C. Wolfe, is currently developing a scripted for Starz, on the birth of jazz.
Cannonball’s “A Child’s Introduction to Jazz” has long been out of circulation, but, thankfully, someone uploaded it to YouTube, and is embedded below: