When it came to keeping the soul-jazz pot boiling, tenor saxophonist Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson (1932-1987) had few peers. But in the early to mid-1960s, when organ-tenor groups were still abundant and the jazz press devoted most of its pages to improvisers who in one way or another seemed to suffer for their art, it was easy to overlook Jackson's tight, punchy sextet. A fixture on the urban club circuit, all they did was keep their listeners happy, whether essaying relaxed, straight-ahead swing, danceable riff tunes, "show bar" blues, hard Latin funk, or the caressing blue ballads that were Jackson's forte. More Gravy and Boss Shoutin', recorded about ten weeks apart in 1963-64, benefits greatly from the work of Sam Jones and George Tucker, two of the foremost bassists of their day, while also spotlighting a 19-year-old up-and-comer named Pat Azzara—who, as Pat Martino, would become one of his instrument's most brilliant soloists.
with Frank Robinson, Carl Wilson, Pat Martino, Sam Jones, George Tucker, Joe Hadrick