With George Benson -1964

Jack McDuff

A historic group featured in peak form

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Jack McDuff, one of the top jazz organists of the 1960s, led his finest band during 1963-65 when his quartet featured guitarist George Benson, tenor-saxophonist Red Holloway, and drummer Joe Dukes.

This rare film clip was provided by way of Craig Patterson who was hipped to it by Marc Myers and JazzWax.

The set starts with a very rapid blues that goes on for nine minutes without losing its fire, drive and momentum (check out the section where Holloway and Benson solo together, and also realize that the basslines throughout are provided by McDuff’s feet); the group is very much in explosive form.

McDuff’s band also performs a more relaxed blues (“A Real Goodun”), “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and “April In Paris.”

Benson, who was just 21 at the time, easily keeps up with the great veteran saxophonist Red Holloway, McDuff pushes the other players while being obviously inspired by their presence, and Joe Dukes shows that he was perfect for this setting.

With this repertoire, one can say that George Benson takes a trip down memory lane, but he was also making soul jazz history.

-Scott Yanow


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