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Gene HARRIS & Jack McDUFF – Down Home Blues 1996

Posted in Gene HARRIS, Jack McDUFF, JAZZ on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Gene HARRIS & Jack McDUFF – Down Home Blues 1996

Jazz

Having shared some gospel space on parts of Gene Harris’ In His Hands, Harris and Brother Jack McDuff take the next step and move heavily into the blues on this one, assisted by Ron Eschete on guitar, Luther Hughes on bass, and savvy veteran Paul Humphrey on drums. Harris clearly has the edge on vitality on these sessions; while he can still build up the blues rhetoric to a convincingly shouting climax, McDuff frankly sounds tired and out of gas on “J&G Blues” and several other numbers. Quite often, though, it is Eschete who comes up with the tastiest solos on this disc, and Gene’s daughter Niki and Curtis Stigers help out on soul vocals on several tracks. There are also a couple of non-blues standards, “Time After Time” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is”; McDuff’s mellow, Leslie-treated Hammond B-3 lead on the latter tune is his most soulful contribution on the album.
By Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide.
**
This album helps you understand the difference between mere ‘playing blues’ and ‘playing the blues’. Gene Harris and Jack Mc Duff (and the other the musicians on the album) play the blues with a great jazzy feel and with a clear love for this great music. Also, the album gives you one of the finest examples of Hammond B-3 playing that I know. In McDuff’s playing you really hear the machine working and blowing, especially in the slow and delicate ‘You don’t know what love is’.
This album is an abslolute ‘must have’ if you love the blues. I have bought it for myself and I am now buying it for my father!
By Flame.
**
The deep, soulful blues that these two masters and their supporting cast lay down is as rich with tradition and groove as the title suggests. Upon listening, it’s hard to believe this is the first time the two have collaborated on such a project. Dripping with taste and finesse, their playing styles compliment each other so well it would seem this has been a lifelong partnership.
Exploring both instrumental and vocal blues mediums (with the help of vocalists Niki Harris and Curtis Stigers), Harris’s piano and McDuff’s B-3 swing and sway through nine tracks of standards and originals. From the very traditional “Down Home Blues” and “Stormy Monday” to the funky “Smack Dab In The Middle,” the groove remains upbeat and constant. The lightly swinging “Time After Time” and the delicate “You Don’t Know What Love Is” prove to be superb interpretations of these classics. Hefty contributions by guitarist Ron Eschete, drummer Paul Humphrey and bassist Luther Hughes complete the groove to make this disc one of the best marriages of jazz and traditional blues around.
**
Gene Harris- (Piano)
Jack McDuff- (Hammond B-3 Organ)
Ron Eschete- (Guitar)
Luther Hughes- (Bass)
Paul Humphrey- (Drums)
Curtis Stigers- (Vocals) (#4,5)
Niki Harris- (Vocals) (#1,8)
**
01. Down Home Blues (Brother Jack McDuff) 7:00
02. J & G Blues Brother (Jack McDuff) 9:33
03. Soft Winds (Gene Harris) 7:53
04. Time After Time (Brother (Jack McDuff) 4:45
05. Blues For Big Foot (Brother Jack McDuff) 7:26
06. Smack Dab In The Middle (Brother Jack McDuff) 5:50
07. You Don’t Know What Love Is (Brother Jack McDuff) 5:01
08. Stormy Monday (Brother Jack McDuff) 4:50
09. Cayenne Blues (Brother Jack McDuff) 7:17
**

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