This Gentle release is a compilation of Jackson’s ballads from his
61-62 releases, and it works quite well for what it is. All of the lightning and thunder is gone, and only the dark clouds remain. Songs like “Girl Of My Dreams” and “They Didn’t Believe Me” gorgeously ooze like black mud through your toes. Bucky Pizzarelli, Tommy20Flanagan, Gus Johnson and Roy Haynes are just a handful of the tasteful guests on these enchanted evening’s worth of music.
Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson (1928-1987) remained best known as a rhythm and blues tenor man, long after his full-time honking and shouting days were behind him. He’s also fondly recalled by those chitlin’ circuit patrons whose meat is the grits ’n’ gravy tenor-organ-guitar sound. But Jackson liked nothing better than rendering deep soul ballads. The dozen contained herein--taken from four albums--were made in 1961 and ’62. Abetted by such sidemen as pianists Richard Wyands and Tommy Flanagan and guitarist Kenny Burrell, Jackson shows that whether the material is superlative or demands that he turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, his balladry was consistently ravishing.
with Richard Wyands, Peck Morrison, Mickey Roker, Jimmy Neeley, Wendell Marshall, Gus Johnson, Gildo Mahones, Bucky Pizzarelli, George Tucker, Bobby Donaldson, Montego Joe, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Calhoun, Roy Haynes, Juan Amalbert, Jose Paulo