Thursday, 27 August 2009

Brother Jack McDuff ”Tobacco Road”

Brother Jack McDuff

Tobacco Road
( LP Atlantic Records, 1966 )
Catalog # 1472

1. Teardrops From My Eyes
2. Tobacco Road
3. The Shadow Of Your Smile
4. Can’t Get Satisfied
5. Blowin’ In The Wind
6. And The Angels Sing
7. This Bitter Earth
8. Alexander’s Ragtime Band
9. Wade In The Water

Personnel & Credits:
Fred Berry, King Kolax (tp)
John Watson (tb)
Red Holloway (ts)
Lonnie Simmons (bars)
Bobby Christian (vib, per)
Brother Jack McDuff (org)
Roland Faulkner (g)
Loyal J. Gresham (el-b)
Bob Guthrie (d)
J.J. Jackson (arr, cond)
Tracks 3, 4, 8, 9:
Danny Turner (ts, fl)
Brother Jack McDuff (org)
Calvin Green (g)
Joe Dukes (d)

Format:Vinyl, LP
Producer – Lewis Futterman
Recorded at Chess Studios, Chicago

Brother Jack McDuff recorded an enormous number of albums during the ’60s, so it can be difficult to figure out where to start digging a little deeper into his output (which Hammond B-3 fans will definitely want to do). 1967’s Tobacco Road stands out from the pack for a couple of reasons. First, unlike many of his groove-centric albums, it’s heavy on standards and pop/rock tunes (seven of nine cuts), which make for excellent matches with McDuff’s highly melodic, piano-influenced style. What’s more, about half of the album finds McDuff leading a large ten-piece ensemble arranged and conducted by J.J. Jackson, including a soulful horn section that sounds straight out of Memphis or Muscle Shoals (though this was recorded at Chess studios in Chicago). McDuff himself handles the arrangements on the rest of the material, which is done in a guitar/sax/drums quartet. The LP’s style is fairly unified, though — no matter what format, the tunes are given fantastically funked-up treatments that sound surprisingly natural. And these aren’t grooves where everyone just settles back and stays in the pocket; McDuff attacks the arrangements with wildly funky rhythms and solos, and there’s a polyrhythmic sense of interplay that recalls the best Southern soul. Arguably the most distinctive track is a cool, grooving quartet version of “The Shadow of Your Smile,” complete with snaky bassline and airy flute solos from Danny Turner. Unfortunately, none of the tracks are all that long, in keeping with the jukebox/radio orientation of McDuff’s Atlantic period, but that won’t prevent soul-jazz fans from thoroughly enjoying Tobacco Road.
By Steve Huey (AMG)

A great record, especially those tracks where McDuff handles the bass lines himself. Thanks!
The No 1. track is without a doubt the fantastic version of ‘The Shadow Of Your Smile’! Reallly, really great and with a lovely Hammond B-3 sound, both smooth and dirty at the same time, and with a nice left hand walking bass line.
I must say that the tube distorted smooth-dirty Hammond B-3 sound is excellent on this record!
According to the notes McDuff plays the bass lines himself at tracks 3, 4, 8 and 9.
But if my ears are not fooling me I’m pretty sure that he is also taking care of the bass lines himself in the top-notch version of ‘And the angels sing’, track no. 6.
You can hear this at those moments he is walking the bass line cromatically up from the very lowest register. Here you can hear the typical Leslie ‘growl’! You can hear this Hammond/Leslie deep bass growl clearly at 1 min 38 sec, 2 min 13 sec and 3 min 0 sec.
A great jazz organ record, and thanks again!
By Jazz Organ Fan

By Pier

1 comment:

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