The Cannonball Adderley Quintet featured Cannonball on alto sax and his brother Nat Adderley on cornet. The Quintet and other combos included such noted musicians as pianist Joe Zawinul (later of Weather Report), Art Blakey, and Yusef Lateef.
The nickname "Cannonball" is an apt name for the portly saxophonist. An articulate speaker with an easy manner, Cannonball educated, amused, and informed his audiences in clubs and on television about the art and moods of jazz (he was a music teacher before beginning his jazz career).
Songs made famous by Cannonball and his bands include 'Work Song' and 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy' (written by Joe Zawinul).