Jack Mcduff, born Eugene McDuffy
Skip the bio; you can read that anywhere. Just a few impressions of the man and his music. Often compared to Jimmy Smith, Jack's playing really had little to do with Jimmy's, other than the basic sound and method. He was not a virtuoso in the classical sense, but his genius was manifested in several ways:
What follows is a very long Real Audio™ clip, taken from my personal live recordings of Jack, that is two tunes strung together. This clip illustrates everything I have been trying to say about the man and his wonderful playing. Please enjoy them and think of his contributions as you contemplate his talent.
here for 21 minutes of Jack McDuff live, in Real Audio™
~About the Music~
Parts of these clips have
been featured previously on my site, but for the first time, they are presented
complete and unedited.
Recorded in mono at Parnell's Jazz Club, Seattle WA, 1982. Jack McDuff's Leslie 147 bass speaker was ripped; such is life on the road. You can hear a ripping noise on some pedal tones. Just consider it part of his funky tone. No noise reduction is used except on Jack's brief opening comment, which is still very noisy due to the fact that I had to turn it way up just to make it audible. The raw sound file was compressed 2:1 @ -18dB.
Andrew Beals, alto sax
John Hart, guitar
Rudy Petschauer, drums
"Gospelette," which has never appeared on records in its best form, contains three entirely different elements. It is appropriate here, on this sad day, as it begins with Jack saying, "Rest my head down now and cry, y'all." This tune was played immediately upon Jack's hearing that Sonny Stitt had just died (1982). The gospel-ish intro, with its gorgeous chords and thrilling glisses, is just dripping with sadness, introspection, and majesty. The head is a poppish, slightly funkish romp, though in a minor key. The solo sections, on the other hand, are straight-ahead and swinging, and the chord progression for the head is thrown out.
After pausing barely long enough to turn on the vibrato and take a breath, Jack launches into THE definitive version of his old classic, "Another Goodun," many times better than any recorded version. Here you will hear him play a solo improvisation on a blues in the key of G that shows that he could play far more stuff than is commonly thought, including chromatic runs and flights outside of the key center. There is a moment where he simply stops playing with a jerk, then restarts, in tribute to a beautiful waitress who walked in front of him. Hilarious, if you were there. As the band comes in, you can hear the tremendous excitement generated in the crowd.
Comments on the music or site are welcome! Mail me here.