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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




Crotchet

Brother Jack McDuff

The best of the Concord years.

Concord Jazz CCD2-2171-2

 

 


Disc One
  1. Cold Duck time
  2. Blooze in G
  3. Pork Chops and Pasta
  4. Killer Joe
  5. Georgia
  6. Theme From Mission Impossible
  7. Sundown
  8. Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’
  9. Pettin’ the Cat

Disc Two
  1. Hot Barbecue
  2. J & G Blues
  3. Pump It Up
  4. From the Pulpit
  5. Yesterdays
  6. Down Home Blues
  7. The Playoff
  8. After Hours
  9. Rock Candy

Brother Jack McDuff was the total master of Hammond B3 funk, nobody ever slept when he was on, sure he was usually loud but he was also one of the greatest purveyors of good time jazz ever, he even made me want to dance and that’s saying something! Obviously inspired by Jimmie Smith, he had the Tenor and Hammond Trio well tied up and he used to pack ‘em in every night wherever he played. At various times he had many of jazz’s elite in his band Red Holloway, George Benson, Leo Wright, Gene Ammons, Jimmy Forrest and Roland Kirk were all pleased to be a part of his nightly rave ups.

Where most musicians went through phases of playing in different styles, Brother Jack always ‘stuck with the knitting’. The result, blues drenched happy music with soul and funk a plenty. Just have a listen to his version of Killer Joe it grooves along in the same way as all the rest of his stuff.

Unfortunately the review copy I received did not contain a sleeve note, so I can’t comment on individual performances (for fear of getting it wrong). What is obvious is that Brother Jack was not afraid to hire the very best to play in his band and that he could meet them all on equal terms. In quieter moments he could also deliver a good ballad performance, as his performance on Georgia bears out, there is also some fine alto playing on this track.

The result of these performances was that brother Jack was always in great demand; probably his most popular line-up was when George Benson joined him as a young guitarist. Together they were a huge box-office success.

Brother Jack is no longer with us, the tribute paid to him by John Burk, Executive Vice President, Concord Records on the inside of the sleeve is a fitting one. I would like to quote the middle paragraph.

"But Jack and his music weren’t about melancholy. When you get right down to it, the man and his music were very much about the same things-having fun, feeling good and enjoying life. And that indefatigable and contagious spirit is still very much with us.

The paragraph sums up this double album very well, I am more than pleased to have it in my collection.

Don Mather



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