Jack McDuff

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"Brother" Jack McDuff
Birth name Eugene McDuffy
Born September 17, 1926
Champaign, Illinois, United States
Died January 23, 2001 (aged 74)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
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
Notable instruments
Organ, vocals

"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.

Career[edit]

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 Records while still with Jackson's group. McDuff soon became a bandleader, leading groups featuring a young George Benson,[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,[2] Brother Jack Meets The Boss (1962), featuring Gene Ammons, and Screamin’ (1962).

After his tenure at Prestige, McDuff joined the Atlantic label[1] for a brief period and then in the 1970s 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.

The decreasing interest in jazz and blues during the late 1970s and 1980s meant that many jazz musicians went through a lean time and it wasn't until the late 1980s, with The Re-Entry, recorded for the Muse label in 1988, that McDuff once again began a successful period of recordings, initially for Muse, then on the Concord Jazz label from 1991.[1] George Benson appeared on his mentor’s 1992 Colour Me Blue album.

Despite health problems, McDuff continued working and recording throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and 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]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

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 of six different McDuff albums)
  • 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 of 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)
  • 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)
  • The Prestige Years (Prestige, 2004)
  • 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

With Etta James and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson

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

  • Left Turn On Blue (Delmark, 1995)

With Sonny Stitt

  • Soul Shack (Prestige, 1963) [note: reissued on Groove Hut (#66718) in 2013]

With Winston Walls

  • Boss of the B3 (Schoolkids, 1993)

With Jimmy Witherspoon

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]