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
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
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.