Bill Jennings was a very short man, but a giant on guitar—entirely self-taught, his attack and phrasing were astoundingly sax-like. As a jazz musician, he always insisted on soul as well as sound. That is not to say that he was not a perfectionist and a precisionist, for indeed he was. Although an ardent admirer of the great guitars in jazz, Jennings was always biased towards reeds and (admittedly a frustrated saxophonist) claimed that his style had been heavily influenced by Charlie Parker and Herschel Evans.
Between 1959 and 1960 Prestige engaged Jennings to record two albums: Enough Said! and Glide On. He had the backing of organist Jack McDuff—who provides some neat and clean-cut support—bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer Alvin Johnson. For the second album they were joined by Jennings’ brother Al on vibes—the only exception being Billin’ and Bluin’, where Al traded his vibes for guitar, and McDuff his organ for piano.
Bill Jennings can hardly be called an innovator on guitar. He was an uncomplicated musician but interesting all the same, always swinging and relaxed. There is just enough fun and earthiness in his approach to dull any scholastic edge, bringing the beat where it belongs—right down front.
01. Enough Said (Alvin Johnson) 6:38
02. Tough Gain (Bill Jennings) 4:14
03. Volare [a.k.a Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu] (Modugno-Migliacci) 6:58
04. Dark Eyes (A.Salama-P.D.) 4:38
05. It Could Happen To You (Van Heusen-Burke) 6:22
06. Blue Jams (Jennings-McDuff-Marshall) 5:25
07. Dig Uncle Will (Jack McDuff) 3:28
08. It’s Alvin Again (Jack McDuff) 3:50 *
09. Glide On (Jack Wilson) 5:30
10. Alexandria, Virginia (Clanton-Jennings) 3:52
11. Billin’ and Bluin’ (Bill Jennings-Al Jennings) 4:42
12. There’ll Never Be Another You (Warren-Gordon) 3:49
13. Azure-Te (Paris Blues) (Davis-Wolf) 4:40
14. Fiddlin’ (Bill Jennings-Al Jennings) 2:34
15. Cole Slaw (Jesse Stone) 8:06
16. Hey Mrs. Jones (Ragan-Miller) 4:19
(*) Bonus track
Tracks #1-7, from the album "Enough Said!" (Prestige PRLP 7164)
Subsequently reissued as Prestige PRLP 7788
Track #8, taken from the album "Guitar Soul" (Status ST 8318)
Tracks #9-16, from the album "Glide On" (Prestige PRLP 7177)
Bill Jennings, guitar; Jack McDuff, organ; Albert
Jennings (vibes, guitar on #11); Wendell Marshall, bass; Alvin Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder’s studio, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., August 21, 1959 [#1-8] and January 12, 1960 [#9-16]
Sound engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Artwork: Esmond Edwards
Liner notes by Jack Walker, Chris Albertson & Jordi Pujol
Original recordings produced by Esmond Edwards
This CD release produced by Daniel Gugolz & Jordi Pujol