This raw, rollicking, wildly rambunctious live set by Big Jay McNeely was originally issued on Warner in 1963, simply titled at Big Jay McNeely. The big sax man may have hit is "prime" between 1949-'52 with his jukebox hits, but as the '60s dawned, he was still rocking his ass off. The basic band is made up of McNeely and his brother Bob (a honking baritone sax), organist Fred Thompson, and drummer Ramon Martinez (whoever is playing trumpet, the other saxophone, and guitar are uncredited). The crowd is losing it early on this date, and if it hasn't been edited into the mix -- doubtful at this point in time -- they nailed the groove early and kept it wailing. The high points on this thoroughly pleasurable set are "Big Jay's Count," "Sunset," "Deacon Hop," and a smoking version of "Perdido."
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek