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Bill Jennings


Bill Jennings was an American jazz guitarist and composer. Recording as both a leader and a sideman, Jennings has been called "the architect of soul jazz" and has influenced on jazz, soul, R&B, and blues guitar. B.B. King often mentioned Jennings as one of biggest influences. Jennings has recorded with many artists including Willis "Gator" Jackson, Brother Jack McDuff, Leo Parker, Bill Doggett, Louis Jordan, King Curtis, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald[3] and unique in his ability to play in many styles, including swing, bop, jump blues, R&B, and pop. Jennings played on "Fever" by Little Willie John, which made the Billboard R&B chart in the US and peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100

News: Recording

Complete Bill Jennings on Prestige 1959-60

Complete Bill Jennings on Prestige 1959-60

Guitar pickers are in a class of their own. Sandwiched between Tiny Grimes in the mid-1940s and early '50s and Green Green in the 1960s and '70s was Bill Jennings. Born in Indianapolis, Jennings began recording in 1946 as a sideman in the Stuff Smith Quartet and would become a hero to Indy native and guitarist ...


Article: Radio

Listeners’ Favorites

Read "Listeners’ Favorites" reviewed by Marc Cohn

This week (drum roll....), it's listeners' favorites from shows 431 to 440. From classic jazz to today's music, our listeners have discerning and eclectic taste—never forgetting the blues and funk. Enjoy the show! Playlist Don Braden, Karl Latham “Grover Miles" from Big Funk Live (Creative Perspective) 00:00 Grant Green “Let The Music Take ...


Article: Radio

Your Brain on Frets and More

Read "Your Brain on Frets and More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Lots of guitar this week: John Scofield with Bill Frisell, Jim Hall, Pat Martino, Tiny Grimes, Kevin Eubanks with Dave Holland, Bill Jennings (an influence on B.B. King), and Paul Bollenback with Jim Snidero. We also have a couple of tracks from the currently unavailable Fred Hersch—Esperanza Spalding duo set live at the Village Vanguard (a ...


Article: Building a Jazz Library

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

News: Recording

Bill Jennings and Leo Parker

Bill Jennings and Leo Parker

In the early 1950s, before modern jazz giants emerged with the rise of the 12-inch LP and the prestigious signing of Miles Davis to Columbia Records, R&B was all the rage. Independent radio saw to that, since many small stations in African-American communities played R&B records. They attracted larger listening audiences than jazz singles. Back then, ...

News: Recording

Bill Jennings: 'Enough Said'

Bill Jennings: 'Enough Said'

Like many musicians who weren't pure jazz players but had to earn a living in the 1950s, guitarist Bill Jennings spent much of his all-too brief career in R&B bands. When he did drift into jazz, it was often with groove crossover artists like organist “Brother" Jack McDuff and tenor saxophonist Willis “Gator" Jackson. Guitarists like ...


Glide On

Label: Prestige Records
Released: 2000
Track listing: Enough Said/ Tough Gain/ Volare (aka Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu)/ Dark Eyes/ It Could Happen To You/ Blue Jams/ Dig Uncle Will/ Glide On/ Alexandria, Virginia/ Billin


Article: Album Review

Bill Jennings/Jack McDuff: Glide On

Read "Glide On" reviewed by Derek Taylor

To most readers Brother Jack is probably the more recognizable name on this double billing disc. Jennings was something of an obscurity even when these sessions were originally released, but not because of a lack of talent. His easy, blues-based style and clean touch on the strings contrast his anonymity and describe a musician who really ...


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