Brother Jack McDuff

Bringin' It Home

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1999's Bringin' It Home is a welcome surprise from the killer organist Jack McDuff, whose '90s work was largely devoid of the energy and wit of the classic albums that had made his name. McDuff invites two members of his old crew to the session, saxophonist Red Holloway and guitarist George Benson, who had first made his name playing with McDuff in the '60s. Benson, in particular, sounds revitalized by the association, playing with more spunk than he's managed in years. A couple of decades' worth of crossover jazz will take the fire out of anyone's playing, but Benson's solo on Eddie Harris' "Cold Duck Time" is a marvel of funky economy that sounds like Steve Cropper with hot jazz chops. The other key member of McDuff's classic lineup, the late drummer Joe Dukes, is remembered with McDuff's sweet and playful tribute "Moohah! Joe Dukes." Simply recorded, sounding like it was cut live in the studio, Bringin' It Home sounds bracingly direct, and though it doesn't rank with McDuff's best work, it's a sight better than anyone could have expected at such a late date.

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