Guess the Embouchure Type – Nat Adderley

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Guess the Embouchure Type,” so I’m way overdue. Here is a video of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet playing Work Song. Nat Adderley’s solo starts at 2:39 if you want to skip straight to that. Although the video resolution is pretty low, I think you can a close enough look at Nat’s chops that you can make a fairly accurate guess as to his basic embouchure type. My guess after the break.

While I didn’t notice any obvious examples where you can clearly see the direction of his embouchure motion, his mouthpiece placement is low enough that I’m pretty sure that he was a “low placement” embouchure type. With his mustache it might be hard to spot at first, but keep watching and you’ll probably agree that he has more lower lip inside the mouthpiece than upper lip.

Nat Adderley played with air pockets. If you look at some photos of his playing towards the end of his life (he died in 2000) you can see that they got bigger the older he got, like Dizzy Gillespie’s cheek puff. From a pedagogical standpoint, I would recommend that any air pockets or cheek puff stay away from the mouth corners.

I have to admit, I’ve not followed Nat Adderley’s career past the 60s, but I always loved his playing. I may not still have it, but back in college I listened a lot to a record I had of the Yokohama Concert that Nat played on.

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