This compilation features tracks from SHUCKIN', SWIVEL HIPS, NEAPOLITAN NIGHTS, IN MY SOLITUDE and REALLY GROOVIN'.
Personnel: Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson (tenor saxophone); Tommy Flanagan, Gildo Mahones, Richard Wyands, Jimmy Neeley (piano); Jack Ivory (organ); Kenny Burrell, Bill Jennings, Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar); Ben Tucker (acoustic & electric basses); Eddie Calhoun, George Tucker, Peck Morrison, Wendell Marshall (bass); Roy Haynes (drums, cabasa); Jerry Potter, Bobby Donaldson, Mickey Roker, Gus Johnson (drums); Juan Amalbert (congas, timbales); Montego Joe, Ralph Dorsey (congas); Jose Paulo (percussion).
Producers: Ozzie Cadena, Bob Porter, Esmond Edwards.
Compilation producer: Eric Miller.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey between January 1961 and September 1968. Includes liner notes by Del Shields, Sidney Falco and Joe Goldberg.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (2000, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Willis "Gator" Jackson (tenor saxophone); Kenny Burrell, Bill Jennings, Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar); Jimmy Neely, Gildo Mahones, Richard Wyands, Tommy Flanagan (piano); Jackie Ivory (organ); Ben Tucker (electric bass); Gus Johnson , Jerry Potter, Mickey Roker, Roy Haynes, Bobby Donaldson (drums); Montego Joe, Ralph Dorsey (congas).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (01/10/1961-09/09/1968).
The 1960s were a very productive time for Willis "Gator" Jackson, whose Prestige output of 1959-1971 was impressively consistent. At the label the big-toned tenor saxman didn't try to be something he wasn't -- Gator liked his soul-jazz/hard bop accessible, hard-swinging, and straight-forward, and he excelled by being honest with himself and his audience. Spanning 1962-1968, At Large paints an attractive picture of Jackson's Prestige years. The CD, which Fantasy assembled in 2000, draws on five of Gator's Prestige albums (Shuckin', Swivel Hips, Neapolitan Nights, In My Solitude and Really Groovin') and finds him turning his attention to a variety of material. On this album, one hears Jackson successfully interpreting everything from Italian songs ("Arrivederci Roma") to spirituals ("Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen") to funky boogaloos ("Florence of Arabia"). The saxman also puts his spin on pop ballads that include "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" (the tune that became Tony Bennett's signature song) and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" (which was a major hit for both country-pop singer Glen Campbell and soul innovator Isaac Hayes). At Large isn't the last word on Jackson's Prestige period, although it's easily recommended to anyone who is interested in 1960s soul-jazz. ~ Alex Henderson