Personnel includes: Brother Jack McDuff (Hammond B-3 organ); Nikki Harris (vocals); Andrew Beals (alto saxophone); Jerry Weldon, Red Holloway (tenor saxophone); Byron Stripling, Joe Magnarelli (trumpet); Herb Besson (trombone); Gene Harris (piano); Joey DeFrancesco (Hammond B-3 organ); John Hart, Paul Bollenback, George Benson, Pat Martino (guitar); Frank Gravis, Kevin Axt (bass); Kip Reed (electric bass); Rudy Petschauer, Bryan Landham, Paul Humphrey, Grady Tate (drums).
Producer: John Burk, Allen Farnham, Carl E. Jefferson.
Compilation producer: Nick Phillips.
Personnel: Jack McDuff (keyboards, percussion); Denise Perrier, Niki Harris (vocals); George Benson , John Hart , Pat Martino, Paul Bollenback, Ron Eschete (guitar); Dick Oatts (flute); Red Holloway (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Andrew Beals (alto saxophone); Jerry Weldon (tenor saxophone); Joe Magnarelli, Byron Stripling (trumpet); Herb Besson (trombone); Gene Harris (piano); Kip Reed, Larry Grenadier (electric bass); Grady Tate, Van Romaine, Joe Dukes, Paul Humphrey & the Cool Aid Chemists , Rudy Petschauer, Byron Landham (drums).
Photographer: Marc Norberg.
Hammond B-3 organist Jack McDuff spent his last decade recording for the Concord Jazz label, and for the most part his albums during this time period lacked the verve and fire of his earlier work, and he seemed, at times, to be going through the motions. The two-disc Best of the Concord Years anthology changes that perception a bit, since by picking some of the best tracks from the individual albums, the end result is a collection that is both more varied and energetic than its original sources, and McDuff emerges as a vital performer to the end. Among the highlights are the slow-building "Killer Joe," a moving take on Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia," the classic soul jazz vamp of "Pettin' the Cat," and a pair of weary, emotionally fulfilling blues duets with pianist Gene Harris, "J and G Blues" and "Down Home Blues." Grady Tate, George Benson, Joey DeFrancesco, Red Holloway, and Pat Martino also take guest turns on selections here. The Best of the Concord Years ends up being just that, the best way to sample McDuff's final years, and culled this way, it is work that stands up admirably to his impressive earlier material. ~ Steve Leggett