Genre: Jazz
Size: 12"
Format: 33RPM,


Jack McDuff Live at Parnell's 3LP

Jack McDuff

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1982 Live Jazz Album on 3LP.
Digitally Restored, Unreleased Recordings - Available for the First Time!

Jazz organist 'Brother' Jack McDuff (born Eugene McDuffy, September 17, 1926 - January 23, 2001) was second only to the famous Jimmy Smith in terms of fame and the impact he made with the King of keyboard instruments - the Hammond B-3 Organ. Self-taught on the organ, he recorded with Willis Jackson & Roland Kirk in the late '50s and early '60s, cutting high-caliber soul-jazz dates for Prestige Records, and later Argo / Cadet, Blue Note and Verve Records. McDuff can also take the credit for launching the career of a particularly gifted young jazz guitarist when he recruited George Benson to his own quartet, which resulted in Benson's first solo deal in the mid 1960s.

Live at Parnell's is made up of 15 tracks selected from a week-long engagement in June 1982. Stylistically, Jack and his group cover a lot of ground, especially for an organ quartet - from beautifully old-school, funky, gritty blues with tracks like "Walkin' the Dog" & "Blues 1 & 8," jazz standards like "A Night in Tunisia," through to some frenetic and distinctly edgy fast-paced jazz-fusion-type numbers - "Make It Good" and "Untitled D Minor" - and this reflects how Jack's ears were open to the newer, freer sounds that had developed in jazz and reflected in some of his recordings, such as The Heatin' System - as several tracks have modal and fusion touches that sound remarkably current.

It was into the inviting environment of Parnell's that Jack McDuff, one of the soul-jazz organ legends, brought his quartet for a week-long engagement in June 1982. The club's resident sound engineer, Scott Hawthorn, who made these original private recordings, also just happened to be a keen jazz organist himself, and naturally relished seeing one of the greatest exponents of jazz organ ever up close and personal.

"Parnell's was essentially Seattle's jazz club central. As a working jazz organ player and a professional theatrical lighting designer, I needed an extra source of income, as we all did. So my role became the official dog's body, doing anything they needed. This meant stage sound, which was very limited then, some nice stage lighting, and working the door on some evenings. I had to spread myself pretty thin, but it worked out.

"On this week-long visit to Seattle in July of 1982, Jack brought his own Hammond B-3, a well-used early-seventies model. It featured a warning sign on the back, in red and black, that said 'DANGER' and sported scary lightning bolts. A wise warning because Jack was playing his ass off on these dates! I'd got to know him pretty well during several of his previous visits to Seattle. He was usually a taciturn man but he also had a sharp sense of humor at times. He could be moody, and able to convey a deep sadness in his playing, and I think that's one of the traits that made him such a moving player. At other times his style, especially on blues, was joyful with a rollicking beat."

Scott's observations are borne out in his recordings. Given that the B-3, unlike any other keyboard instrument, can create the dynamics of a big band in a small group setting - and that McDuff is acknowledged as a very accomplished arranger - when this quartet plays standards such as "Satin Doll," "Lover Man" and "Take the A Train," Jack's skill and knowledge of the art form shine through, along with his obvious love for the masters like Basie, Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. As Scott recalls: "Jack was a superb arranger, a literate musician who read and wrote manuscript. Of course, he's famous as a hard swinger, but musicians hold his arranging skill in awe. Great taste and the sound of surprise were his thing. That's well illustrated by these performances.

"Some tracks on this record that stand out as maybe more exciting than his previously released versions, notably 'Another Real Goodun',' partly because he kept adding to and revising his arrangements. 'Another Real Goodun'' is preceded by a further McDuff original, 'Fly Away.' At this point in time, I was sitting at the bar and I had just been told that Jack's friend, legendary saxophonist Sonny Stitt, who Jack recorded several classic albums with, had just passed away. I told Jack about Sonny's passing as he walked by on his way back to the stage, without even considering that it might affect his performance. He sat down at the organ looking stunned, and then before beginning 'Fly Away,' he muttered quietly the words, ' my head down and cry, y'all.' We have preserved that touching moment in these restored recordings. It was obvious from the beautiful intro Jack played that he was deeply moved. Later on in this track, he used his famous arranging trick of having the band playing the head of the tune between each solo. The final solo of the tune was the organ's, and to this longtime organ player, it's a simply thrilling solo."

What Live At Parnell's provides is a fascinating glimpse into a genuine example of living the jazz life, an artist doing what he'd been doing for over 20 years at that point: hitting the road, B-3 organ, bass pedals, bench, Leslie speaker and band mates in tow; getting out to play to the people, spreading the good vibes, having fun and of course, getting paid some bread for doing what he loves. Taking the rough with the smooth, but delivering the goods onstage... come rain or shine... every time.


  • 3LP
  • Digitally Restored
  • Previously Unreleased Recordings
  • Audio Restoration/Mastering: Claudio Passavanti & Luis Coles at Dr Mix
  • Vinyl Mastering/Cutting: Frank Merritt at The Carvery Studio, London


Jack McDuff organ
Danny Wollinski sax
Henry Johnson guitar
Garrick King drums


Side 1:

  1. Make It Good
  2. Untitled D Minor
  3. Déjà vu

Side 2:

  1. Fly Away
  2. Another Real Goodun'

Side 3:

  1. Blues in the Night
  2. Satin Doll

Side 4:

  1. A Night in Tunisia
  2. Killer Joe

Side 5:

  1. Greensleeves
  2. Take the A Train
  3. Wives & Lovers

Side 6:

  1. Walkin' the Dog
  2. Lover Man
  3. Blues 1 & 8

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