Brother Jack McDuff Quartet – live at Juan les Pins Festival – July 29, 1964 – ORTF, Paris –
Brother Jack McDuff and his quartet featuring Red Holloway on Tenor Sax, George Benson on Guitar and Joe Dukes on Drums. All preserved by French Radio outlet ORTF (now France Musique) on July 29, 1964.
Jack McDuff began playing bass, appearing in Joe Farrell’s group. 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 while still with Jackson’s group. McDuff soon became Brother Jack McDuff as well as a bandleader, leading groups featuring a young George Benson on guitar, Red Holloway on tenor 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; Brother Jack Meets The Boss (1962), featuring Gene Ammons; Screamin’ (1962), with alto saxophonist Leo Wright and guitarist Kenny Burrell; and Brother Jack McDuff Live! (1963), featuring Holloway and Benson, which includes his biggest hit, “Rock Candy”.
After his tenure at Prestige, McDuff joined the Atlantic label for a brief period, and in the 1970s he 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 saxophone.
Decreasing interest in jazz and blues during the late 1970s and 1980s meant that many jazz musicians went through a lean time. But in 1988, with The Re-Entry, recorded for the Muse label, McDuff once again began a successful period of recordings, initially for Muse, then on the Concord Jazz label in 1991. George Benson appeared on his 1992 Color Me Blue album.
Despite health problems, McDuff continued working and recording throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and he 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.
And as a reminder of that amazing period, here is McDuff, along with Benson, Holloway and Dukes and Juan les Pins from 1964.
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