Willis Jackson – Cool “Gator”

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Cool “Gator” (also released as Keep on a Blowin’) is the second album led by saxophonist Willis Jackson featuring organist Jack McDuff and guitarist Bill Jennings which was recorded in 1959 and 1960 and released on the Prestige label.

Having made his initial reputation as a honking and screaming R&B star, Jackson by 1959 had formed a soul-jazz group that included guitarist Bill Jennings and the young organist Jack McDuff. On this program, the tenor plays a typical set from the era: three standards, the jump tune “A Smooth One,” and a couple of his basic originals. Enjoyable and accessible music that swings and contains its share of soul (Scott Yanow/AllMusic).

Track listing:
“Keep on a’ Blowin'” (Willis Jackson, Jack McDuff) – 10:24
“How Deep Is the Ocean?” (Irving Berlin) – 4:04
“On the Sunny Side of the Street” (Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh) – 3:30
“Blue Strollin'” (Jackson) – 7:45
“The Man I Love” (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 7:13
“A Smooth One” (Benny Goodman) – 5:24

Willis Jackson – tenor saxophone
Jack McDuff – organ
Bill Jennings – guitar
Milt Hinton (track 1), Wendell Marshall (tracks 3 & 4), Tommy Potter (tracks 2, 5 & 6) – bass
Alvin Johnson – drums
Buck Clarke – congas (track 1)


Released: 1960
Recorded: May 25 and November 9, 1959 and February 26, 1960
Studio: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack and Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Label: Prestige
PR 7172
Producer: Esmond Edwards