Willis Jackson Call of the Gators [Bonus Tracks]
- Released: November 10, 1992
- Label: Delmark
Musician - 3/93, p.92"...This collection of growls confirms that the unheralded Miami native could raise a ruckus with the best of them...his lusty squawks gallop through some hopped-up territory on these early-'50s tracks recorded for the Apollo label..."
- 1.Blow, Jackson Blow
- 2.More Blues At Midnight
- 3.Later For The Gator
- 4.Dance Of The Lady Bug
- 5.Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
- 6.Gonna Hoot And Holler Saturday Night
- 7.Call Of The Gators
- 8.On My Own
- 9.Chuck's Chuckles
- 10.Later For The Gator
- 12.More Blues At Midnight
- 13.Call Of The Gators
- 14.Blow, Jackson Blow
Contains previously unreleased tracks and alternate takes recorded in 1950.
This is part of Delmark's Apollo series.
Personnel: Willis "Gator" Jackson (tenor saxophone); Eddie Mack (vocals); Bobby Johnson, Jr., Andrew "Fats" Ford (trumpet); Michael Booty Wood, Robert Range (trombone); Arnold Jarvis, Duke Anderson, Bill Doggett (piano); Joe Murphy, Panama Francis (drums).
Liner Note Author: Bob Porter.
Recording information: New York, NY (12/21/1949-05/29/1950).
Photographers: Jack Vierra; Russell Thurston; Chuck Stewart.
This 14-track entry from Delmark's Apollo series provides a useful roundup of tenor saxophonist Willis Jackson's earliest recordings as a leader. The set of jump blues and stomping R&B instrumentals showcases the young leader's hard-honking, leering style. Still a teenager at the time, Jackson recorded the performances for the New York-based Apollo label in 1949 and 1950, shortly after he came to prominence as a member of trumpeter Cootie Williams' band. While he seems made to measure for the role of "blowin' motherf*cker," Jackson's ballad playing reveals a more sophisticated player with a smoky Ben Webster style. This side of Jackson -- which became more evident later in his career -- comes across most notably on the ballad "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" and in the unhurried lope of "More Blues at Midnight." The players with Jackson are likeminded practitioners of good-time, bluesy backbeats, including pianist Bill Doggett and drummer Panama Francis. Two tracks feature Jackson with the Bobby Smith Orchestra and vocalist Eddie Mack, who reflects unrepentantly on the timeless themes of money, women, and drink. An unidentified guitarist (possibly Leroy Kirkland) on one of the Smith tracks contributes a brief swinging solo in the style of Tiny Grimes that proves to be one of the disc's high points. The medium-paced title track is another highlight. ~ Jim Todd
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