119

Willis Jackson with Jack McDuff: Together Again!

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Willis Jackson with Jack McDuff: Together Again! Organ jazz from the late fifties and early sixties had a tendency to be predictable, yet it still provided a template for churning out catchy tunes, many of which became hit singles. Once again Fantasy has mined its seemingly inexhaustible supply of the stuff for this record, which once again pairs a couple of previous releases together on one CD. Like most of the other discs in this format (many by McDuff himself), there’s some filler, but enough greasy soul on this 1960 reissue to keep one satisfied.

Jack McDuff and Willis Jackson were two musicians who mined the soul jazz craze for all it’s worth, and despite a few curveballs, they knew not to tinker with a formula that works. These two had played together before and had a deep understanding of each other’s styles. McDuff is one of the best organists to emerge after Jimmy Smith and is more than capable of sustaining a groove by pumping out chords (although he prefers to leave the bottom end to a bassist instead of using the pedals). Jackson, although not a great tenor player, is capable of stringing together a series of licks into an acceptable solo.

However, the real treat here is Bill Jennings, a guitarist whose country-inflected licks bring to mind a mix of Charlie Christian and Chet Atkins. Jennings is the real reason to check out the record, and his nimble solos on “Angel Eyes” and “Gil’s Pills” easily make up for the shortcomings of a group who sometimes seem to be on autopilot, constructing tunes on what has proved workable in the past.

Unfortunately, the last six tracks feature Jackson almost exclusively, and Jennings and McDuff seem to be watching the clock, content to vamp and do little else. Other than the hit single “This’ll Get To Ya,” which is a suitably shallow groove for airplay, the rest of the tunes fail to generate any real heat. Jackson shows a strong Ben Webster influence, but he lacks the inventiveness necessary to sustain the spotlight on even the shortest of tunes. “Backtrack” and “Snake Crawl” are fine enough but seem like deliberate efforts to climb the charts. Despite its shortcomings, though, Together Again! is a satisfactory release for those who like their organ jazz cut and dry.


Track Listing: 1. Gil's Pills 2. Angel Eyes 3. Three Little Words 4. Glad 'A See Ya' 5. Medley: September Song/Easy Living/Deep Purple 6. Dancing On the Ceiling 7. It Might As Well Be Spring 8. This'll Get To Ya 9. Tu'gether 10. Jambalaya 11. Backtrack 12. Without a Song 13. Snake Crawl.

Personnel: Jack McDuff-organ; Willis Jackson-tenor sax; Bill Jennings-guitar; Tommy Potter, Wendell Marshall, Milt Hinton, Jimmy Lewis-bass; Al Johnson, Buck Clarke, Bill Elliott, Frank Shea-drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Brass Tactics" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Tactics
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Up North" CD/LP/Track Review Up North
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "EARS" CD/LP/Track Review EARS
by Rob Caldwell
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "I Walk Amongst Humans" CD/LP/Track Review I Walk Amongst Humans
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!