Joe Dukes

Soulful Drums of Joe Dukes With Jack McDuff

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The quartet that plays on this session is the same foursome that comprised the Jack McDuff Quartet at the time: Dukes on drums, Red Holloway on saxophones, George Benson on guitar, and McDuff on organ. So why isn't it billed to Jack McDuff? Well, 'cause Prestige decided to give each of the three sidemen an album of his own, to showcase each member perhaps, but also perhaps to get more mileage out of McDuff's popularity than might have been possible if they'd just dumped three more of his albums on the market. No one lost in this proposition, since it's a good album of mid-1960s organ soul-jazz, all but one of the seven tracks being McDuff-Duke originals. It's not notably different from McDuff's own albums of the time, except perhaps that the repertoire was selected to highlight Dukes' drums more than usual. You certainly hear 'em coming through on the title track, which is largely devoted to alternations of explosive riffs with Dukes playing brief fills on just about every part of the kit he can. The drumming takes a more active part than is the norm on soul-jazz discs throughout the record, and it's not gimmicky; it's refreshing to hear such aggressive solo patterns, and the tunes are dynamic and bluesy. Confusingly, the album was reissued on a 2001 CD credited to McDuff, not Dukes, on a disc that also includes the entirety of the mid-1960s McDuff album Hot Barbecue. That CD also has a 1964 track, "Redwood City," featuring the same quartet plus Tommy Shelvin on Fender bass, that didn't appear on either of those two albums originally (it was first released on the compilation LP The Soul/Jazz Giants).

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