After a busy recording career in the 1960s, organist Jack McDuff was erratically documented in commercial settings in the 1970s and was in danger of being forgotten when he launched his successful comeback with The Re-Entry in 1988. At the age of 61, McDuff proved to still be in his prime as he jammed on three originals, two obscurities, and "Laura" with both Houston Person and Ron Bridgewater on tenors, trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, guitarist John Hart, and drummer Grady Tate. The music on this Muse album falls between hard bop and soul-jazz and should satisfy fans of those styles.
The Blues Masters series, much to Rhino`s credit, adopts an expansive definition of blues, allowing the likes of Count Basie, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Muddy Waters and even Louis Prima admission. There is none of the purist`s quibbling over strict 12-bar form or the relative significance of prewar and postwar styles.
What Rhino delivers instead is the blues in all its myriad guises. This music is old and new, black and white, acoustic and electric, folksy and jazzy, performed by women and men, and yet it is all still blues at its core.
Two classic Hooker LPs, all digitally re-mastered, 22 solid slabs of dark, leathery, brooding nostalgia. This is the electric blues at its very roots. If there’s still anyone out there reading this magazine who hasn’t at least one Hooker album in their collection, then you’re still a long way from qualifying as a blues aficionado. So this is a good place to start. This stripped-bare, one man and a growling electric guitar (on most tracks) music is the stuff those guys who fled the south for the auto production lines in the north used to listen to.