Jimmy Smith may have been jazz's Once and Future King of the Hammond B-3 organ, but Brother Jack McDuff's mid-1960s bands could cook with anyone--and they always had the hottest young guitar players. Ten of the 11 tracks on The Concert McDuff (culled from four Prestige LPs) feature the organist's greatest, toughest-grooving group, the one with Red Holloway on tenor saxophone, "the soulful drums" of Joe Dukes, and, on guitar, George Benson. In his early twenties at the time, Benson would in the 1970s become an international jazz-to-pop crossover star as both instrumentalist and vocalist. Captured live in 1963-64 at Newark, New Jersey's Front Room, which served as something as a home base for McDuff (b. Eugene McDuffy; 1926-2001), as well as at the Golden Circle in Stockholm, the quartet hits on all cylinders, whether burning their way through the Woody Herman band's anthemic "Four Brothers," playing great blue ballads like Buddy Johnson's "Save Your Love for Me," or laying down their patented rocking shuffle on "Another Goodun'." As an added treat, there's "Spoonin'," a funky blues in 6/8, whose personnel includes Pat Martino, McDuff's next monster guitarist.
with Red Holloway, George Benson, Pat Martino, Joe Dukes