Jack McDuff

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"Brother" Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff photo.jpg
Background information
Birth name Eugene McDuffy
Born September 17, 1926
Champaign, Illinois, United States
Died January 23, 2001 (aged 74)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Genres Jazz, soul jazz, hard bop, jazz-funk, rhythm and blues
Occupation(s) Musician, bandleader
Instruments Organ, vocals
Years active 1960–2001
Labels Prestige, Atlantic, Blue Note, Concord
Associated acts George Benson, Gene Ammons, Dick Morrissey, Jerry Weldon

Eugene McDuff, better known professionally as "Brother" Jack McDuff, (September 17, 1926 – January 23, 2001) was an American jazz organist and organ trio bandleader who was most prominent during the hard bop and soul jazz era of the 1960s, often performing with an organ trio. He is also credited with giving guitarist George Benson his first break.


Born Eugene McDuffy in Champaign, Illinois, McDuff began playing bass, appearing in Joe Farrell's group.[1] Encouraged by Willis Jackson in whose band he also played bass in the late 1950s, McDuff moved to the organ and began to attract the attention of Prestige while still with Jackson's group. McDuff soon became a bandleader, leading groups featuring a young George Benson on guitar,[2] Red Holloway on saxophone and Joe Dukes on drums.

McDuff recorded many classic albums on Prestige, including his debut solo Brother Jack in 1960; The Honeydripper (1961), with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest and guitarist Grant Green; Brother Jack Meets The Boss (1962), featuring Gene Ammons; and Screamin’ (1962) with alto saxophonist Leo Wright and Kenny Burrell on guitar.

After his tenure at Prestige, McDuff joined the Atlantic label[1] for a brief period, and in the 1970s he recorded for Blue Note. To Seek a New Home (1970) was recorded in England with a line-up featuring blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon and some of Britain's top jazz musicians of the day, including Terry Smith on guitar and Dick Morrissey on tenor sax.

Decreasing interest in jazz and blues during the late 1970s and 1980s meant that many jazz musicians went through a lean time. But in 1988, with The Re-Entry, recorded for the Muse label, McDuff once again began a successful period of recordings, initially for Muse, then on the Concord Jazz label in 1991.[1] George Benson appeared on his 1992 Color Me Blue album.

Despite health problems, McDuff continued working and recording throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and he toured Japan with Atsuko Hashimoto in 2000. "Captain" Jack McDuff, as he later became known, died of heart failure at the age of 74 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[2]


As leader[edit]

Prestige Records
Atlantic Records
Cadet/GRT Records
Blue Note Records
Other labels
  • Sophisticated Funk (Chess/All Platinum ACH-19004, 1976)
  • Kisses (Sugar Hill SH-247, 1981)
  • Having A Good Time (Sugar Hill SH-264, 1982)
  • Live It Up (Sugar Hill/Chess/MCA SH-9202, 1984)
  • Lift Every Voice And Sing (JAM [Jazz America Marketing] 016, 1984)
  • The Re-Entry (Muse MR-5361, 1988) -with Cecil Bridgewater, Houston Person [note: reissued on 32 Jazz in 1997; reissued again on Savoy Jazz in 2003]
  • Another Real Good 'Un (Muse MR-5374, 1990) -with Cecil Bridgewater, Houston Person [note: reissued on 32 Jazz in 1999; reissued again on Savoy Jazz in 2003]
  • Jack-Pot (Red [Italy] 123267, 1991 [rel. 1997])
Concord Jazz Records
  • Color Me Blue (Concord Jazz, 1992) -with George Benson
  • Write On, Capt'n (Concord Jazz, 1993)
  • The Heatin' System (Concord Jazz, 1994)
  • It's About Time (Concord Jazz, 1995) -with Joey DeFrancesco
  • That's The Way I Feel About It (Concord Jazz, 1996) -with Chris Potter
  • (Down Home) Blues (Concord Jazz, 1997) -with Gene Harris
  • Bringin' It Home (Concord Jazz, 1998) -with Red Holloway, George Benson
  • Brotherly Love (Concord Jazz, 2001) -with Red Holloway, Pat Martino

LP/CD compilations[edit]

  • Brother Jack McDuff's Greatest Hits (Prestige 7481, 1967)
  • Brother Jack McDuff Plays For Beautiful People (Prestige 7596, 1968)
  • The Best Of Brother Jack McDuff Live! (Prestige 7703, 1969)
  • The Best Of Brother Jack McDuff & The Big Soul Band (Prestige 7771, 1970) -with Benny Golson
  • Rock Candy (Prestige 24013, 1972) [2LP]
  • George Benson/Jack McDuff (Prestige 24072, 1977 [2LP]; CD finally released in 2007) (compilation of The New Boss Guitar Of George Benson + Hot Barbeque)
  • Crash! Jack McDuff Featuring Kenny Burrell (Prestige, 1994) (compilation of Somethin' Slick! + Crash!)
  • Brother Red: Red Holloway With Jack McDuff, George Benson, Joe Dukes (Prestige, 1994) (compilation of Cookin' Together + 3 tracks from The Dynamic Jack McDuff, and "Redwood City"...originally released on the various artists compilation The Soul Jazz Giants [Prestige 7791] in 1971)
  • Live! (Prestige, 1994) (compilation of Brother Jack McDuff Live! + Brother Jack At The Jazz Workshop Live!)
  • Legends Of Acid Jazz: Jack McDuff (Prestige, 1997) (compilation drawn from six different McDuff albums; all material recorded July 1964)
  • Legends Of Acid Jazz: Jack McDuff – Brother Jack (Prestige, 1999) (compilation of Brother Jack + Goodnight, It's Time To Go)
  • Silken Soul (Prestige, 2000) (compilation drawn from seven different McDuff albums)
  • The Soulful Drums (Prestige, 2001) (compilation of The Soulful Drums Of Joe Dukes + Hot Barbeque)
  • The Concert McDuff (Prestige, 2002) (compilation of The Concert McDuff + one track from Hallelujah Time!, two tracks from The Midnight Sun, and one track from I Got A Woman)
  • The Last Goodun' (Prestige, 2002) (compilation drawn from seven different McDuff albums; material on first seven tracks [the On With It! session] recorded December 1961)
  • Funk Pie (Recall [UK], 2002) [2CD] (compilation of Concord material)
  • The Best Of The Concord Years (Concord Jazz, 2003)
  • Prelude: Jack McDuff Big Band (Prestige, 2003) (compilation of Prelude + 11 bonus tracks featuring McDuff's "large" groups, drawn from five different albums)
  • Willis Jackson With Jack McDuff – Together Again! (Prestige, 2003) (compilation of Together Again! + Together Again, Again)
  • The Prestige Years (Prestige, 2004) (compilation drawn from ten different McDuff albums)
  • Jack McDuff: Eight Classic Albums (Real Gone Jazz [EU], 2013) [4CD] (compilation of Brother Jack; Tough 'Duff; The Honeydripper; Goodnight, It's Time To Go; Kirk's Work; Brother Jack Meets The Boss; Screamin'; Stitt Meets Brother Jack)

As sideman[edit]

With Gene Ammons

With George Benson

With Joshua Breakstone

  • Remembering Grant Green (Evidence, 1993 [rel. 1996])

With Kenny Burrell

With Hank Crawford

With Joe Dukes

  • The Soulful Drums of Joe Dukes (Prestige, 1964) -with Red Holloway, George Benson

With Grant Green

With Gene Harris

  • Alley Cats [live] (Concord, 1998 [rel. 1999])

With Willis Jackson

  • Please Mr. Jackson [also released as Cool Grits] (Prestige, 1959) -with Bill Jennings
  • Cool "Gator" [also released as Keep On A Blowin' ] (Prestige, 1960) -with Bill Jennings
  • Blue Gator (Prestige, 1960) -with Bill Jennings
  • Cookin' Sherry (Prestige, rec. 1959/1960 [rel. 1961]) -with Bill Jennings
  • Together Again! (Prestige, rec. 1959/1960 [rel. 1965]) -with Bill Jennings
  • Together Again, Again (Prestige, rec. 1959/1960/1961 [rel. 1966]) -with Bill Jennings
  • The Best of Willis Jackson With Brother Jack McDuff (Prestige 7702, 1969)

With Etta James and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson

  • Blues in the Night: The Early Show (Fantasy, 1986) -with Red Holloway, Shuggie Otis
  • The Late Show: Blues In The Night, Volume 2 (Fantasy, 1987) -with Red Holloway, Shuggie Otis

With Bill Jennings

  • Enough Said! (Prestige, 1959)
  • Glide On (Prestige, 1960)

With Roland Kirk

  • Kirk's Work [also released as Funk Underneath] (Prestige, 1961)

With Carmen McRae

With Mike Pachelli

  • Meeting Point (Fullblast, 1999)

With Betty Roché

With Dave Specter

With Sonny Stitt

  • Soul Shack (Prestige, 1963) [note: reissued on Groove Hut (#66718) in 2013]
  • The Best of Sonny Stitt With Brother Jack McDuff (Prestige 7701, 1969)
  • The Best of Sonny Stitt With Brother Jack McDuff/For Lovers (Prestige 7769, 1970)

With Winston Walls

  • Boss of the B3 (Schoolkids, 1993)

With Joe Williams

With Jimmy Witherspoon


  1. ^ a b c Wynn, Ron; Porter, Bob. "Jack McDuff: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  2. ^ a b Fordham, John (2001-01-27). "Obituary: Brother Jack McDuff". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 

External links[edit]