Mr Jackson - Jack McDuff
Care Of Business - Shirley Scott
Sailing - Arnett Cobb featuring Austin Mitchell
and Stones - Johnny "Hammond" Smith
- Jimmy Forrest featuring Larry Young
the Jug - Gene Ammons featuring Jack McDuff
Theme - Red Holloway featuring John Patton
Candy - Jack McDuff
Shark - Willis Jackson featuring Carl Wilson
Duck - Don Patterson
- Richard "Groove" Holmes
Track Mind - Freddie Roach
Five - Trudy Pitts
"Acid jazz" is one of those phrases that seem to defy definition
- possibly because they were fairly meaningless in the first place.
The music of the last few decades seems littered with similarly opaque
names, like nu-jazz, acid house and trip-hop. Mostly they arise because
people want to attach a label to a style of music that incorporates
diverse elements or which has just been thrown together - often by
DJs from a variety of sources.
The term seems to have arisen in the late 1980s. Gilles Peterson
claims that, when working as a DJ at Dingwalls in London: "We
put on this old 7-inch by Mickey and the Soul Generation which was
a rare groove record with a mad rock guitar intro and no beat. I started
vary speeding it so it sounded all warped. Chris Bangs got on the
microphone and said, 'If that was acid house, this is acid jazz'.
That's how acid jazz started, just a joke!"
At any rate, the music seems to have been a mixture of jazz with
funk and/or soul (and sometimes electronic sounds and other elements)
to produce something suitable for dancing. It appropriated venerable
jazz tracks and used them in a supposedly updated way.
This selection of 13 tracks from 1959 to 1967 lets us hear some of
the original sources of acid jazz from organists of the time. It is
one of a series of "Legends of Acid Jazz" CDs which also
features gene Ammons and Roy Ayers. Thankfully the recordings have
not been messed about too much: just "remastered" by Joe
Tarantino in 1998, when the album was originally released.
The items seem to divide naturally into two categories: original
tunes based on the blues, and jazz standards given the Hammond organ
treatment. There is nothing by the doyen of Hammond organists, Jimmy
Smith - nor, for that matter by Wild Bill Davis or Jimmy McGriff.
But there are examples from such notables as Jack McDuff, Shirley
Scott and Johnny "Hammond" Smith. Many tracks also feature
a tenor-saxist and/or guitarist - the staples of organ groups. For
example, one of the jazz standards - Remember - includes solos
by tenorist Jimmy Forrest (mis-spelt "Forest" on the sleeve)
and guitarist Thornel Schwartz, with Larry Young sounding slightly
less abrasive than on occasions.
Another great version of a jazz classic is Richard "Groove"
Holmes's recording of Erroll (mis-spelt "Erol" on the sleeve)
Garner's Misty, with the beat superbly emphasised by Jimmie
Smith's drums and Holmes' bass pedals. The other choice classic of
Hammond jazz is Jack McDuff's Rock Candy from 1963,
with a basic blues riff as the tune and some super soloing from saxist
Red Holloway and guitarist George Benson. Other famous jazzers can
be heard on several tracks, such as tenor-saxists Arnett Cobb in Smooth
Sailing and Booker Ervin on Donald Duck. In fact there
seem to be as many tenorists as organists on this album.
Ignore the "acid jazz" tag and just accept this as a useful
introduction to some of the top jazz organists from the golden era
of the Hammond B-3.