Although he was just 31 when these recordings were made on two consecutive dates in May 1963, tenor saxophonist Willis Jackson had been as something of a rhythm 'n' blues star for 15 years. But Jackson, who signed with Prestige in 1959, was moving ever more steadily in a jazzier direction, albeit with a style that drew strongly on his blues-saturated roots. The two LPs combined herein demonstrate what Jackson's tight, powerful little band of the early 1960s did best: exultant shuffles and medium-bounce jazz-blues, testifyin' tenor features, and balladic or Latin-tinged renderings of the most popular show tunes and ballads of the day. Add future guitar giant Pat Martino (then known as Pat Azzara, and already a fully mature stylist despite being just 18 years old) and you have a flavorful Gravy that perfectly complements the nourishing meat and potatoes on this menu.
with Carl Wilson, Frank Robinson, Pat Martino, Leonard Gaskin, Joe Hadrick