Jack McDuff

Legends of Acid Jazz Jack McDuff: Brother Jack & Goodnight, It's Time to Go

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In 1999, Fantasy reissued two of Jack McDuff's classic Prestige dates on a single 78-minute CD for its Legends of Acid Jazz series: Brother Jack (1960) and Goodnight, It's Time to Go (1961). The LP this CD was named after was the organist's first album as a leader and was recorded when he was still in Willis Jackson's employ, while Goodnight was recorded a year and a half later and finds McDuff unveiling a cohesive group that includes Harold Vick on tenor sax, Grant Green on guitar and Joe Dukes on drums. But the soul-jazz/hard bop albums aren't terribly different from one another, and both of them emphasize McDuff's strong points: down-home blues, romantic ballads, and uptempo burners. Accessibility is a high priority on both sessions -- at a time when jazz's avant-garde and post-bop artists were making jazz even more cerebral and uncommercial, McDuff and other B-3 icons provided accessible, groove-oriented music that didn't scare R&B and rock fans away. Critics might have dismissed McDuff's albums because they appealed to a lot of R&B lovers, but in fact, gritty numbers like "McDuff Speaking" and "Godiva Brown" are essentially a 1960s extension of what Lionel Hampton, Jimmie Lunceford, and Count Basie had done in the '30s and '40s. This CD is highly recommended.

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