Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
|"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"|
|Song by Cannonball Adderley from the album Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at 'The Club'|
|Recorded||Capitol Records (Los Angeles), October 20, 1966|
"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" is a song written by Joe Zawinul in 1966 for Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and his album Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at 'The Club'. The song is the title track of the album and became a surprise hit, reaching #11 on the Billboard charts in Feb. 1967. The song has been re-recorded numerous times, most notably by The Buckinghams who reached # 5 in August 1967, adding lyrics to the tune. It was also recorded by the Mauds in 1967, with lyrics by Curtis Mayfield. It has now become a jazz standard performed by both beginner and advanced jazz musicians.
The first part of the theme is played two times and is completely made of notes from the major pentatonic scale of the first degree.
Structure and chord progression
The tune was performed in the convenient key of Bb major. The song has a rather unusual 20 bar structure with four distinct and rather unique sections within the 20 bar form. The chord progression is mainly made of dominant seventh chords on the first, fourth and fifth degree, giving the whole song a bluesy feeling, although it is not a typical blues progression. In particular, the sub-dominant (IV Chord) in the lead, forte section of the song, gives the tune this "bluesy feeling," most likely due to its structure. The IV chord is played as its 2nd inversion with the bass note a tonal Bb. This immediately resolves to the tonic (I Chord), and this structure is commonly used in the blues between its first two chords of the structure.
- "This album gave birth to a Top Ten single of the title tune, much to the astonishment of many..." Michael Cuscuna 1995 Capitol Reissue CD liner notes
- Keyboards (german keyboard magazine), 06/2007 http://www.keyboards.de.
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