12 September 2006
WILLIS JACKSON - MORE GRAVY
"Saturday Night Partying Music" is how Joel Dorn describes this on the liner notes and he ain't wrong.
Right out of the gate, tenor man Willis Jackson signals that 'Pool Shark' is going to be about the kind of hip boss shoutin' that was part and parcel of the Chitlins Circuit back in the day. With a Charleston beat that sets up a static background, Jackson tells his story with gusto right up to a Basie-like ending. By contrast, 'Somewhere Along the Way' gets its bravado from Carl Wilson's rich organ sonorities and then Jackson goes for the heart with a ballad performance of 'Jug' like proportions.
Side 2 is kick started by the whopping 'Nuther'n like Thuther'n' THE classic jazz dancer which starts with a subtly shifty rim shot beat until the bass comes in and ties it all together. The guitar and horns groove away for a good six minutes, their improvisations punctuated by an instantly recognisable refrain. Buddy Rich lifted the groove wholesale for his version of "The Beat Goes On"- this is the kind of sound that rocked Jamaican sound systems in the days before ska, and still gets feet movin today.'More Gravy' is a blues of the low down genre and show cases Willis in his best blues bag.'Fiddlin' wraps it up with a nice bit of bop.
Interesting to note that this album features a young Pat Martino working under the name Pat Azzara.