Willis "Gator" Jackson

Tell It....

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Tell It... was recorded at the same March 21, 1964, session at New York's the Allegro that yielded the better-known LP Soul Night Live!. In fact, Tell It... has been combined with Soul Night Live! for a 2002 CD reissue, or rather basically added on to the other album, as that two-fer package also bears the title Soul Night Live!. It's staunch mid-'60s soul-jazz, the most important of the backup players being Pat Martino on guitar and Carl Wilson on organ. The songs touch rather predictable if pleasing bases: Ray Charles covers ("One Mint Julep" and "I Can't Stop Loving You"), standards ("Up a Lazy River," "Secret Love," and "Ebb Tide"), straighter jazz (Lester Young's "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid"), and a Jackson original ("Blue Gator"). Most memorable is when the tempo hits its fastest and breeziest and Pat Martino lets loose with a bop-like solo, as on "Tangerine," while Jackson sounds at his best and bluesiest on "Blue Gator."

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