Jack McDuff

The Last Goodun'

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The Last Goodun' is something of a catchall McDuff compilation, consisting of all the remaining material from his Prestige LPs that had not made it onto compact disc prior to the 2002 release of this CD. The 14 songs, all recorded between 1959-1965, thus were originally scattered among seven separate albums, using more than a dozen supporting players, among them notable names like Gene Ammons, Red Holloway, Blue Mitchell, and George Benson. It's a tribute to McDuff's consistency that it doesn't sound like a bunch of leftovers. Indeed, it wouldn't be that bad of a first exposure to his Prestige work for initiates, though those with a deeper knowledge of his catalog would realize that it's not the optimum cream of the crop. Actually, though, it's a little more consistent in sound than you might expect, since the first seven of the 14 tracks all come from one December 1, 1961, session. Given all the pieces to jumble, though, it's well-programmed, varying the bluesy stompers like "Groanin'" with more boppish organ jazz like "Scram" and "It's Alvin Again," the R&B cover of Ray Charles' "Drown in My Own Tears," the smoky balladry of "Ballad for Baby," and the more contemporary go-go beat of "What's Shakin'" (with Montego Joe on conga).

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