Though originally released by Blue Note, Brother Jack McDuff's '71 album Who Knows What Tomorrow's Gonna Bring? came after the venerable jazz label's glory days in hard bop and post bop. An album with far more funk and soul than swing and bop, this excellent first-time CD reissue by San Francisco-based Water finds McDuff's organ paired nicely with guitarist Joe Beck, trumpeters Randy Brecker and Olu Dara, trombonists Dick Griffin and John Pierson, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, pianist Paul Griffin, bassists Tony Levin and Ray Draper, and drummer Donald McDonald.
The album's six selections are catchy, infectious, soulful things that seduce with groove and attitude. The title track kicks off the album with an acid-like, eerie sound montage that swells and soon dissolves into pure funky goodness. McDuff, always skilled in these settings, plays to excite and his intentions are reciprocated well by the entire band. On the Billy Preston-like "YA YA YA YA YA YA," the group uses a gospel feel to sway and hypnotize the listener.
Less trance-like tunes are found in the hustlin' swagger of "Who's Pimpin' Who?" and "Classic Funke." "Ya'll Remember Boogie" is an odd piece in this context, with its big band-like arrangement and straight-ahead flair; it's a great song, though seemingly out of place here. The closing number, the gentle, nearly disco-ish "Wank's Thang," also adds to the sometimes uneven, though always enjoyable mix of sounds and styles that make up Who Knows What Tomorrow's Gonna Bring?
Who Knows What Tomorrow's Gonna Bring?; YA YA YA YA YA YA; Who's Pimpin' Who;
Classic Funke; Ya'll Remember Boogie?; Wank's Thang.
Brother Jack McDuff: organ; Joe Beck: electric guitar; Donald McDonalddrums; Tony Levin:
bass; Mike Mainieri: vibes; Ray Draper: persussion, bass, vocals, tuba, bass horn; Randy
Brecker, Olu Dara: trumpet; Dick Griffin, John Pierson: trombone; Paul Griffin: piano.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.