Willis Jackson: Nuther'n Like Thuther'n (2002)
While the casual listener might dismiss the music contained herein as just another run of the mill organ date, they’d be missing the point in that Jackson always seemed to have a knack for taking even the basic 12-bar blues (such as on “Stuffin”) and making it swing in a deeply satisfying way. His own improvisations are marked by a robust and full-bodied timbre that was clearly in the lineage of greats such as Ben Webster and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. It probably didn’t hurt too that the edition of Jackson’s combo heard here also included a very young Pat Martino (listed on the original albums as Pat Azzara), already displaying some dazzling chops in the limited solo forays he’s allowed.
Aside from Martino and bassists Sam Jones and George Tucker, none of the men featured with Jackson are familiar names, yet the chemistry they share with him is immediately obvious. So too is it a delight to hear the trumpet work of Frank Robinson, his muted lead with Jackson on “Fiddlin’” especially agreeable. But then there’s nothing here that could be considered filler. Jackson’s originals find new paths to tread even if the general road is a familiar one. Thanks again go to Fantasy for brining so much of Jackson’s Prestige catalog back into circulation. The music is deserving of a new audience.
Track Listing: Pool Shark, Somewhere Along the Way, Stuffin', Nuther'n Like Thuther'n, More Gravy, Fiddlin', St. Louis Blues; Que Sera, Sweetie; Shoutin', Nice 'n' Easy, Your Wonderful Love
Personnel: Willis Jackson (tenor saxophone)with Frank Robinson, Carl Wilson, Pat Martino, Sam Jones, George Tucker, Joe Hadrick
Record Label: Fantasy Jazz