"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF

Soul Jazz / Funk Jazz / Blues • United States
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"Brother" Jack McDuff (September 17, 1926 -- January 23, 2001) was a jazz organist and bandleader prominent during the soul jazz era of the 1960s. Born Eugene McDuffy in Champaign, Illinois, McDuff began playing bass, appearing in Joe Farrell's group.

Encouraged by Willis Jackson in whose band he also played bass in the late 50s, 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, 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, and Brother Jack Meets The Boss (1962), featuring Gene Ammons, and Screamin’ (1962).

After his tenure at Prestige, McDuff joined the Atlantic Records label for a brief period
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"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF Discography

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF albums / top albums

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Brother Jack (With Bill Jennings)
Soul Jazz 1960
3.50 | 1 ratings
Tough 'Duff
Soul Jazz 1960
3.52 | 3 ratings
The Honeydripper
Blues 1961
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Goodnight, It's Time to Go (aka Sanctified!)
Soul Jazz 1961
4.50 | 1 ratings
Brother Jack Meets The Boss (with Gene Ammons) (aka Mellow Gravy)
Soul Jazz 1962
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Screamin'
Soul Jazz 1963
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Somethin' Slick
Soul Jazz 1963
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Prelude
Soul Jazz 1964
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The Dynamic Jack McDuff
Soul Jazz 1964
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Silk And Soul
Soul Jazz 1965
3.25 | 2 ratings
Hot Barbeque
Soul Jazz 1966
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Walk On By
Soul Jazz 1966
3.00 | 1 ratings
A Change Is Gonna Come
Soul Jazz 1966
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Hallelujah Time!
Soul Jazz 1967
3.50 | 1 ratings
Tobacco Road
Soul Jazz 1967
3.50 | 2 ratings
Do It Now!
Soul Jazz 1967
3.00 | 1 ratings
Double Barreled Soul
Soul Jazz 1968
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The Natural Thing
Soul Jazz 1968
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Getting Our Thing Together
Soul Jazz 1968
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The Midnight Sun
Soul Jazz 1968
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Soul Circle
Soul Jazz 1968
4.50 | 1 ratings
Gin & Orange
Soul Jazz 1969
4.50 | 1 ratings
Down Home Style
Soul Jazz 1969
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Plays For Beautiful People
Soul Jazz 1969
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I Got A Woman
Soul Jazz 1969
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Steppin' Out
Soul Jazz 1969
4.00 | 1 ratings
Moon Rappin'
Soul Jazz 1970
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To Seek a New Home
Soul Jazz 1970
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Who Knows What Tomorrow's Gonna Bring?
Soul Jazz 1971
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On With It!
Soul Jazz 1971
4.02 | 2 ratings
The Heatin'System
Funk Jazz 1972
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Fourth Dimension
Soul Jazz 1974
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Magnetic Feel
Soul Jazz 1975
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Sophisticated Funk
Soul Jazz 1976
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Kisses
Soul Jazz 1980
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Having A Good Time
Soul Jazz 1982
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Lift Every Voice And Sing
Soul Jazz 1983
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Live It Up
Soul Jazz 1984
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The Re-Entry
Soul Jazz 1988
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Another Real Good'un
Soul Jazz 1992
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Color Me Blue
Soul Jazz 1992
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Write On, Capt'n
Soul Jazz 1993
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The Heatin' System
Soul Jazz 1995
4.00 | 1 ratings
It's About Time (with Joey DeFrancesco)
Soul Jazz 1996
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That's the Way I Feel About It
Soul Jazz 1997
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Bringin' It Home
Soul Jazz 1999
4.50 | 1 ratings
Brotherly Love
Soul Jazz 2001
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Jack-Pot
Soul Jazz 2013

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF EPs & splits

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF live albums

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live!
Soul Jazz 1963
3.50 | 1 ratings
Check This Out
Soul Jazz 1972
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Jack McDuff & Kankawa : Organ Meeting
Soul Jazz 2001

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF re-issues & compilations

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Crash!
Soul Jazz 1994
4.00 | 1 ratings
Legends of Acid Jazz
Soul Jazz 1997
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Silken Soul
Soul Jazz 2000
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The Soulful Drums
Soul Jazz 2001
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The Concert McDuff
Soul Jazz 2002
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Jack McDuff Big Band : Prelude
Soul Jazz 2003
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Anthology
Soul Jazz 2014

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF singles (0)

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF Reviews

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF Check This Out

Live album · 1972 · Soul Jazz
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“Check this Out” is yet one more in a seemingly endless supply of soul jazz records put out by “Brother’ Jack McDuff. Fortunately, in this case a vast quantity does not imply a drop off in quality, instead, despite how many records he put out, you can almost always count on McDuff for a worthwhile spin. “Check this Out” came out in 1972, which was the same year Jack released his wild funky, and somewhat experimental “Heatin System”. “Check” is not quite as out there as “System”, but there is still plenty of hot solos and well arranged tunes to make this one a worthwhile addition to your McDuff collection.

It’s a rather large group that Jack has assembled here, with three sax players providing a mini big band effect, plus congas and guitar, while McDuff supplies the bass on all but one cut via his B3 foot pedals. Side one kicks off with a wide open energetic blues based jam, followed by the well known ballad, “Georgia On My Mind”. Jack handles the melody on “Georgia”, while the horn players provide an interesting re-harmonization of the familiar chord changes. This side closes with the modern funk sounds of “Soul Yodel”, on which Jack’s foot work is replaced by the electric bass of Richard Davis, who supplies a syncopated groove reminiscent of WAR’s “Slipping into Darkness”.

Side two opens with an unexpected original 60s flavored optimistic art pop song with the tongue-in-cheek title of “Middle Class Folk Song”. This one bears some resemblance to the Carpenter’s “Sing a Song”, which is not a bad thing. This is followed by another up tempo hard bop groove before the album closes out with some classic soul jazz slow burn blues. All throughout this album there are plenty of good solos. With three sax players on board, its not always clear who is playing what, but most likely the hottest sax solos probably come from Jack’s longtime sidekick, “Red" Holloway. If McDuff’s burning solos sound familiar, its because he more or less invented the solo language of the B3 as it was used by many 70s rock and RnB players from Gregg Rollie to Jon Lord, and just about everyone else too. We often hear of Jimmy Smith as a major B3 influence, but his high speed bop/blues lines did not adapt to rock as well as McDuff’s grittier hard punchy riffs. Plus McDuff often had a bit of overdrive distortion to his sound, which added to his rock appeal.

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF Do It Now!

Album · 1967 · Soul Jazz
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There was a lot of change in the air in 1967 when Jack McDuff released “Do it Now”, and that is reflected on many of the tracks on this fine soul jazz disc. In 67 James Brown was still developing the new funk sound, he had already hit us with the semi-funk of “I Feel Good”, but had not quite hit the pure funk heights of “I Got the Feelin” and “Say it Loud”. The first and last cuts on side one of McDuff‘s “Do it Now” are not quite full-on funk jazz numbers, but you can clearly hear the influence of James’ recent hits. In fact, side two closer and title cut, “Do it Now“, sounds like its based on that famous walk down riff from “I Feel Good”.

Along with the two lively proto funk numbers, “Do it Now” also contains two tracks with the expected bluesy hard bop swing, an odd country RnB track, a cheezy rendition of “Summer Samba” and a very interesting album closer called “Mutt and Jeff”. This closing track is a sort of up-tempo post bop, almost avant-garde in its odd chord progressions and semi-free rhythm, it sounds a bit like what Larry Young and Tony Williams will be playing in their new Lifetime group.

So you get the picture, there is a lot of variety on here, but almost every cut is good, with the exception of the overly cute version of “Summer Samba”. McDuff’s playing on here is solid, not his flashiest best, but not watered down either. All of the band members get a turn too, but most of the solos go to Jack. The double horn section and electric guitar go a long way in filling out the sound. Fans of Jack McDuff and 60s soul jazz in general will want to pick this up, this isn’t Jack’s best effort, but its far from his worst either. For McDuff fans seeking Jack at his very best, check out the fiery and somewhat experimental “Heatin System”.

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF The Honeydripper

Album · 1961 · Blues
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“The Honeydripper” was Jack McDuff’s third album and found him moving away from his hard bop beginnings and towards the new soul jazz sound, the end result is five tracks of pure blues (plus one Mancini classic) played by four guys with jazz chops. Jimmy Forrest is on tenor and provides an old school big sound rooted in the blues and early swing. Grant Green is making his debut recording on this one and easily holds his own against the others. All of the tunes are good, but collectors of lounge classics will want to take notice of McDuff’s cover of Mancini’s “Mr Lucky”. Brother Jack approaches this one with all the stops out for that classic full organ sound and extra swanky lounge groove. Other highlights on here include the up-tempo boppish “Whap!”, and “I want a Little Girl”, which is played with that odd sound that is created when only the high drawbars on the B3 are pulled out.

There’s not a lot to say about this one, fans of B3 jazz will know what to expect. “The Honeydripper” compares favorably to other records like it, and fortunately does not have any of the corny tracks that sometimes mar other organ soul jazz records. As a point of reference and comparison, during this same time period, Jimmy Smith's music and organ sound were a little more dry and less gospel sounding than McDuff's, and Smith's structures were more open with longer songs featuring long relaxed solos. Partly because of Forrest, McDuff’s music draws a little more from older swing and jump blues.

"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF The Heatin'System

Album · 1972 · Funk Jazz
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In the early 60s Jack McDuff built a solid reputation as a great B3 soloist in the popular soul jazz genre of the day. Like many other organists in this genre, Jack played a mix of slow blues, pop tune covers and swingin hard bop. Along came the late 60s and McDuff began to adapt as so many others did. Blues and swing were out, while funk and wide open free playing were in. McDuff wasted no time in picking up on these new trends and by the time he cut ‘Heatin Sysrtem’ in 1972 he was well versed in a far more modern version of soul jazz.

Interestingly enough the album opens with a classic slow blues from days gone by until we hit the middle of the tune when an odd horn fanfare signals for the band to launch into a medium funk groove with JBs styled walking bass playing just behind the beat for that extra funky feel and groovy congas keeping double-time. When the horn players jump in for their ride its with the new ‘outside’ freedom that was introduced by John Coltrane years earlier.

Although there is one more cut on here in the old blues style, most everything else on here is funky and fresh with a rhythm section sound somewhat in-between the Meters and the JBs, with excellent non-cliché horn arrangements added on top and energetic modern solos all throughout. Album closer ‘Radiation’ pushes things a little further with some Larry Young/Coltrane styled free swingin post bop with a quartal harmonic accompaniment similar to McCoy Tyner. This is an excellent record, far more adventurous than your standard Jack McDuff swing blues outing.

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