Willis "Gator" Jackson

With Pat Martino

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When Willis Jackson and Pat Martino got together in the 1960s and the 1970s, the improvisers usually had a very strong rapport. Released in 1998, this collection gathers some of their work for Muse in the 1970s and draws on three albums: Headed and Gutted (1974), Bar Wars (1977), and Single Action (1978). Painting a well-rounded picture of Jackson's work with Martino, With Pat Martino ranges from exhilarating, high-speed bop burners like "The Goose Is Loose" and "Single Action" to the slow blues of "Bolita" and "Miss Ann," to soulful ballad statements such as "My One and Only Love" and Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet" (which hasn't received a lot of attention from the jazz world but works impressively well as a jazz ballad). Jackson had calmed down since his honker sessions of the late 1940s and early '50s, but he still had a very big, fat tone and a lot of energy -- no one's going to mistake With Pat Martino for cool jazz. The material on this CD isn't very ambitious, but it's certainly heartfelt and rewarding.

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