Both as the leader of his own bands as well as an alto and soprano saxophone stylist, Julian Edwin Cannonball Adderley was one of the progenitors of the swinging, rhythmically robust style of music that became known as hard-bop.
Born September 15, 1928, into a musical family in Florida, Adderley was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950. He became leader of the 36th Army Dance Band, led his own band while studying music at the U.S. Naval Academy and then led an army band while stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Originally nicknamed Cannibal in high school for his voracious appetite, the nickname mutated into Cannonball and stuck.