Brother Jack McDuff

Brother Jack McDuff

Artists Biography

Brother Jack McDuff (September 17, 1926 - January 23, 2001) was a jazz organist and organ trio bandleader who was most prominent during the hard bop and soul jazz era of the 1960's, often performing with an organ trio.

Born Eugene McDuffy in Champaign, Illinois, McDuff began playing bass, appearing in Joe Farrell's group. Encouraged by Willis Jackson, in whose band he also played bass in the late 1950's, McDuff moved to the organ and began to attract the attention of Prestige Records while still with Jackson's group. Read more on Last.fm


Brother Jack McDuff (September 17, 1926 - January 23, 2001) was a jazz organist and organ trio bandleader who was most prominent during the hard bop and soul jazz era of the 1960's, often performing with an organ trio.

Born Eugene McDuffy in Champaign, Illinois, McDuff began playing bass, appearing in Joe Farrell's group. Encouraged by Willis Jackson, in whose band he also played bass in the late 1950's, McDuff moved to the organ and began to attract the attention of Prestige Records while still with Jackson's group. McDuff soon became a bandleader, leading groups featuring young George Benson, Red Holloway on saxophone and Joe Dukes on drums.

McDuff recorded many classic albums on Prestige, including his debut solo "Brother Jack" in 1960, "The Honeydripper" (1961), with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest and guitarist Grant Green, and "Brother Jack Meets the Boss" (1962), featuring Gene Ammons, and "Screamin’" (1962).

After his tenure at Prestige, McDuff joined the Atlantic Records label for a brief period and then in the 1970's recorded for Blue Note. "To Seek a New Home" (1970) was recorded in England with a line-up featuring blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon and some of Britain's top jazz musicians of the day, including Terry Smith on guitar and Dick Morrissey on tenor sax.

The decreasing interest in jazz and blues patent during the late 1970's and 1980's meant that many jazz musicians went through a lean time and it wasn't until the late 1980's, with "The Re-Entry", recorded for the Muse label in 1988, that McDuff once again began a successful period of recordings, initially for Muse, then on the Concord Jazz label from 1991. George Benson appeared on his mentor’s 1992 "Colour Me Blue" album.

Despite health problems, McDuff continued working and recording throughout the 1980's and 1990's, and toured Japan with Atsuko Hashimoto in 2000. "Captain" Jack McDuff, as he later became known, died of heart failure at the age of 74 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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