Born: Eugene McDuff- 17th of September 1926, in Champaign, Illinois.
Died: 23rd of January 2001, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
”Brother” Jack McDuff is one of the leaders in the soul/funk styles on the Hammond B-3. His awe-inspiring bass lines and solos are balanced near perfectly by the clever and almost pianistic progressions and phrases.
McDuff started by playing with such names as Denny Zeitlin and Joe Farrell. McDuff studied privately with Johnny Griffin in Chicago and in Cincinatti. After being self-taught piano and organ McDuff got attention by working with Willis Jackson in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s and began making high-caliber soul-jazz dates for “Prestige.” McDuff debuted when recording with “Prestige” in 1960 and playing in a studio pickup band with Jimmy Forrest. The two made two awesome albums: “Tough Duff” and “The Honeydripper” and then McDuff organized his own band the following year which featured Harold Vick and Joe Dukes. Things then took off when he hired a young guitarist named George Benson and together they became the most popular combo of the mid-’60’s.
McDuff later played with groups such as Atlantic and Cadet though they didn’t equal the level of The Benson Band, while later dates for Verve and Cadet were uneven though generally well done. During the 70’s and 80’s McDuff fiddled around with Fusion Jazz and electronic keyboards but never got into it. Sometime in the 80’s he got back into the groove with the “Muse Session” “Cap’n Jack.”
McDuff also played with Joe Henderson, Pat Martino, Jimmy Witherspoon, David “Fathead” Newman, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sonny Stitt, and Gene Ammons. While there are only a few Jack McDuff sessions on CD, they include the best sessions with Jimmy Forrest. Also on CD is his work with George Benson.
Jack McDuff died on the 23rd of January, 2001 of an apparent Heart Attack at the age of 74 years.
To buy Jack McDuff albums, or read more about him go to: