Soul Fantasy

Monday, November 9, 2009

Willis Jackson - Sideshow 1975

Willis Jackson born on April 25, 1932 Miami, Florida and he died on October 25, 1987 New York. From his late teenage, Willis ‘Gator’ Jackson played tenor saxophone in many bands in his home state before attending university where he studied music theory. From the late 40s into the mid-50s he played in various editions of the small band led by Cootie Williams. Overlapping this spell with Williams, Jackson led his own band on tours and for recording sessions. He also recorded with his then-wife, Ruth Brown. Although Jackson’s playing and composing up to this time had been strongly inclined towards R&B, he also played with bop musicians including founding fathers Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. From the early 60s he was active on the east coast, continuing to record and in the late 70s led a tenor-organ combo featuring Carl Wilson (organ), and Pat Martino (guitar).
In 1975 he recorded one of my favorite jazz albums entitled "The way we were". It was recorded at Sigma Sound Studio, Philadelphia and was released on Atlantic Recording Corporation. Produced by Phil Hurtt and Tony Bell. All male vocals and vocal arrangements by Phil Hurtt. Strings by Don Renaldo & His Philadelphia Strings.

I have chosen a brilliant "Sideshow", big success one year ago by Blue Magic.

Note: The above posted track is not played in full

Although best known for his raunchy, blues-based sound, Jackson was also an effective balladeer, even developing a special saxophone for this purpose.

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