Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Willis Jackson, Von Freeman|
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Boogaloo Joe Jones steals the show !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 07/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Throughout the 60's Willis Jackson recorded a series of pretty well selling (yet somehow forgotten in time) houserockin' organ/tenor combo albums, often featuring a young, then unknown guitarist named Pat Azara and an ultra groovy/heavily swinging (almost totally forgotten) organist named Carl Wilson... This album is a European reunion of "that sound" (circa 1979) - - and thinking of it as a reunion of "the sound" its an INCREDIBLE album... and a chance to hear Ivan Jones before he fell off the radar (into self imposed retirement in Jersey.) - - Though there is some frenzic blowing, honestly speaking, I don't think that's the real reason to get it... Its for the overall "sound"... in addition, while Willis Jackson is as wailingly frenzic as always, Boogaloo Joe Jones really steals the show. As for the recording quality... it sounds like the best "made for TV" stereo of the era (which is a compliment), though in some ways I think it robs the recording of some of its charm - - the drums in fact sound a bit odd (rock kit?) - - All in all, given a choice I'd say go for the original Prestige albums circa the 60's, and compared to them maybe I wouldn't give the record such a hig rating... however, to get to hear the group reunited 10 years later when that era was pretty much done and over with - - yet so firey and energetic makes this one a keeper !
note: If you've never heard of Willis Jackson (and sadly many younger horn players haven't), remember this: He mentored both Pat Martino and Jack McDuff (who in turn menored George Benson) - - in other words, though his hard cooking bluesy Texas Tenor sound will attest for itself, his historical legacy is equally as strong: This is a monumental figure (himself discovered by Cootie Williams.) ...and if you're a horn player who plays this sound... hey look me up... have organ, will travel !"
Hot jazz, plain and simple
T. H VonZabern | Boston, MA, USA | 05/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While I respectfully agree with my fellow reviewer that more tracks with Freeman and Jackson together would have been nice, I find the individual tracks to be material of first rate excellence. The 10+ minute number "Pow!" is exactly what the title says, a hard hitting, high energy gig, which alone is worth the price of admission. I find it impossible to ever get tired of it.In this recording, both Willis Jackson and Von Freeman are highly seasoned professionals,with nearly a century of experience between them, and they effortlessly navigate through a programme of formidable challenges. Unreservedly recommended, although sadly out of print. If you can find a used one, grab it."
A decent album, but caveat emptor....
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 12/27/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is an OK disc but some words of caution are in order. The title of the disc is very misleading, since the two headliners actually only play together on the final track. This was Willis "Gatortail" Jackson's gig, a 1978 concert at Laren, & it's his band onstage. They have an entertaining, tight routine, including an elaborate shtick on "The Man I Love", which after a very slow opening is given one of the fastest readings I've ever heard & eventually becomes an elaborate series of quotations executed in tandem by the band (everything from "Lullaby of Birdland" to a snippet of Rachmaninov).After 3 numbers Jackson leads Freeman onstage; Freeman has two numbers to himself, "Summertime" & "The Shadow of Your Smile". He is, as always, marvellously unpredictable & idiosyncratic, with one of the oddest harmonic & rhythmic conceptions in jazz. (I've no idea what his musical influences are, though I suspect that like the much younger saxophonist David Murray--whom he sometimes resembles--he listened hard to Paul Gonsalves.) These numbers are inevitably much less together than the Jackson tracks, not least because of Von's penchant for doing the unexpected (the sidemen sound palpably uncomfortable!): on "Summertime" halfway through he makes the rhythm section cut the swinging for an ultra-slow out-of-tempo statement of the melody; while on "Shadow" there's one of Von's long a capella solos to end the track. Nice stuff. -- The final blues blowout on "Willis and Von" is a nice bit of sparring between the horns.So why two stars? Well, the album would deserve three, as a good but not exceptional CD enlivened by some great Von Freeman & some nice work from Willis Jackson--except that the recording quality is a bit dodgy. It's actually quite acceptable on the whole, but the drums have been _very_ badly miked: the cymbals sound fine but the snares sound more like the loud rustling of newspaper or distant gunfire than anything you'd want to hear. If you can put up with this quirk of the recording, this is worth a listen; otherwise, give it a pass."