BILL JENNINGS/JACK MCDUFF contains Bill Jennings' ENOUGH SAID (1959) and GLIDE ON (1960). McDuff plays organ on both albums.
This is part of Prestige's Legends Of Acid Jazz series.
Personnel: Bill Jennings (guitar); Al Jennings (guitar); Rudy Van Gelder (recorder); Jack McDuff (piano, organ); Alvin Johnson (snare drum).
Recording information: Van Gelder, Studio, Englewood C (08/21/1959).
Bill Jennings' guitar was integral to the sound of jazz organ pioneers Bill Doggett and Wild Bill Davis. His dry, twangy, swinging sound was also part of organist Jack McDuff's transitional first release as a leader, Brother Jack. Here Jennings is in the spotlight on a compilation of his 1959 date, Enough Said, and 1960's Glide On. The lineup is actually the same as on Brother Jack: McDuff, Wendell Marshall on bass, and Alvin Johnson on drums. Jennings' brother, Al, joins in on the later set, contributing second guitar and some effective work on vibes. Just as McDuff's organ here still has the imprint of the roller-rink sound of Doggett and Davis, Jennings' guitar is also a product of an earlier era. It's easy to hear the influence of the bluesy jazz of guitarist Tiny Grimes, along with the jumping Texas blues of T-Bone Walker, the elastic riffing of Chuck Berry, and the early bop of Charlie Christian. In other words, the music has a vintage charm that is appealing in its own right and insightful as a precursor to the more full-throttled sound of the classic jazz organ combos of Jimmy Smith. The earlier set predates Brother Jack by a few months; the later one was recorded at about the same time. The tracks are generally grounded in the blues, with occasional forays into popular songs, one or two of which don't quite catch fire. Highlights include "Billin' and Bluin'" (with McDuff on excellent blues piano), Wild Bill Davis' "Azure-Te," and the sly, soul-jazz prototypes "Enough Said" and "Glide One." ~ Jim Todd