Reference: FSRCD 718
For the first time, 14 tracks recorded by Prestige in a single session and released separately in five different albums. It also includes 2 tracks from a Fire single that was recorded two days later by the same group minus Tommy Potter.
Theres a style of playing tenor saxophone which, for lack of a better name, can be called Southeastern. Its a warm, extrovert way of playing, with a heavy two-beat rhythm that can rock you off your chair. Its not esoteric, obscure or subtleeverything is laid right on the line in a blues-drenched, afterbeat style. Among its major exponents is Willis Gator Jackson (1932-1987), whose playing has definite shades of latter-day Lester Young, and though he made a every effort at restraint, the inevitable demands of the hard-blowing Southeastern way were always paramount. In it Jackson exploited his big, round tenor sound to the full, swinging straight-ahead and powerfully on most tunes, which, when combined with his full-blooded treatment of the ballads, made his work readily identifiable.
The support comes from Jack McDuff, whose persuasive work on the Hammond organ is marked by his good taste and swinging phrasing, while in a fine rhythm section guitarist Bill Jennings contributes imaginative, slightly astringent single-string guitar solos throughout this unequivocally burning date.
01. Gators Tail [a.k.a. The Gator Jumps] (Jackson) 3:39
02. A Smooth One (Goodman) 5:21
03. The Man I Love (G. & I. Gershwin) 7:10
04. Cool Grits (Jackson-McDuff-Jennings) 8:33
05. Memories of You (Blake-Razaf) 6:05
06. Please Mr. Jackson (Jackson-McDuff-Jennings) 5:47
07. How Deep Is the Ocean? (Berlin) 4:02
08. Dinks Mood (McDuff-Jackson) 3:56
09. 633 Knock (Jennings-Doggett) 5:19
10. Angel Eyes (Dennis-Brent) 4:41
11. Three Little Words (Kalmar-Rubin) 4:58
12. Shes Funny That Way (Whiting-Moret) 5:11
13. Come Back to Sorrento (DeCurtis) 4:30
14. Gils Pills (Acea) 4:06
15. Good to the Bone (Robinson-Lewis-Jackson) 2:30
16. Makin It (Jackson-Jennings) 2:27
Total time: 78:00 min. approx.
Tracks #4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 13, from the 12 album
Please Mr. Jackson (Prestige PR 7162)
Tracks #2, 3 & 7, from the 12 album
Cool Gator (Prestige PR 7172)
Tracks #1 & 12, from the 12 album
Blue Gator (Prestige PR 7183)
Track #11, from the 12 album
Willis Jackson with Jack McDuff - Together Again!
(Prestige PR 7364)
Tracks #10 & 14, from the 12 album
Willis Jackson with Jack McDuff - Together Again, Again,
(Prestige PR 7428)
Bonus tracks #15 & 16, from the 7 single, Fire 1003
Personnel on all tracks:
Willis Jackson Quintet
Willis Jackson (tenor sax), Jack McDuff (organ), Bill Jennings (guitar), Tommy Potter (bass, out on #15 & 16), Alvin Johnson (drums).
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey, on May 25, 1959
Original recordings supervised by Esmond Edwards (#1-14) and Bobby Robinson (#15 & 16)
Sound engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Original art cover: Esmond Edwards / Don Schlitten
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol & Esteban Sánchez
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"If there really is such a thing as the real deal then Gator Jackson was it. I once described his leathery, honking solos coughed out over sloppy-joe rhythms and there seems no reason to finesse that now, except that these tracks for Prestige, which were culled for five different albums, show more finesse than Jackson was credited with or showed on his later, cruder Muse recordings. Anyone capable of going from the gruff romance of The Man I Love to the fast, semi-bop of Cool Grits was clearly no slouch. Great single-note guitar from Jennings, too. The usual meticulous job from Fresh Sound, with extracts from all the original liner notes, plus two bonus single tracks from Fire recorded two days later. Gator worked."
Brian Morton -February, 2013
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