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ListeningToPrestige

Willis Jackson sidemen

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Anyone know anything about Carl Wilson, organ; Frank Robinson, trumpet; Joe Hadrick, drums, all of whom appeared on a few Prestige albums with Willis Jackson in the mid-1960s?

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21 minutes ago, ListeningToPrestige said:

Anyone know anything about Carl Wilson, organ; Frank Robinson, trumpet; Joe Hadrick, drums, all of whom appeared on a few Prestige albums with Willis Jackson in the mid-1960s?

It’s interesting that soul jazz musicians of that era were more likely to record with hometown musicians than “names”.

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3 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

It’s interesting that soul jazz musicians of that era were more likely to record with hometown musicians than “names”.

Different mindset, both the musicians and the audience, where being on the same wavelength and building community was more important than chops.  But I might be projecting, not like I was there.

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To play a gig like Gator's, you had to be able to travel, and to be happy being away from the spotlight of a big market, like New York. You just had to be able to play the gig and be ready to go to work wherever that gig was. Chitlin' Circuit Reality.

Joe Hadrick is aka Yusef Ali and actually worked a lot with Gator over the years. Carl Wilson & Frank Robinson certainly seemed more than capable as well!

https://www.discogs.com/artist/477106-Yusef-Ali

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That was Gator's greatest band. Pat Martino was the other member. Between them, they had a great big sound. No bad records were made.

MG

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If what Allen said in an earlier thread, maybe Jackson had trouble finding sidemen? I mean really, if your own dentist thinks you're nasty, it could mean a lot of musicians don't dig you. :)

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Yeah, this was the Gator's working band, and they worked. He always had a gig somewhere. And these guys could play -- Carl Wilson smokes it on organ. But they didn't go on to record with anyone else that I've been able to find. The one guy in the band who did make a name for himself was Pat Azzara, only the name wasn't Pat Azzara. He later changed it to Pat Martino.

 

A boss band, but it's hard to top the earlier ensemble with Jack McDuff and Bill Jennings. Jennings is a tremendously underrated guitar player, and the work he did with the Gator may have been his best.

Edited by ListeningToPrestige

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3 minutes ago, ListeningToPrestige said:

Yeah, this was the Gator's working band, and they worked. He always had a gig somewhere. And these guys could play -- Carl Wilson smokes it on organ. But they didn't go on to record with anyone else that I've been able to find. The one guy in the band who did make a name for himself was Pat Azzara, only the name wasn't Pat Azzara. He later changed it to Pat Martino.

I don't know about Carl Wilson or Frank Robinson (two players for whom Google will immediately direct you to other, more famous, people), but some people come from smaller towns, or at least not "big cities" and prefer to go back home after they get done with the road thing. It's not like they had chartered busses or planes or hotel suites or anything like that, that life was probably kinda hard, especially if you liked being home to begin with.

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3 hours ago, bresna said:

If what Allen said in an earlier thread, maybe Jackson had trouble finding sidemen? I mean really, if your own dentist thinks you're nasty, it could mean a lot of musicians don't dig you. :)

Just came across Allen's fuller post about Willis Jackson, on FB:

little anecdote I forgot about for many years. Back in the '70s when I lived in NYC I wasn't playing much, but I was playing on occasion, and not too badly, if not up to my later stuff. For some reason Joe Albany was doing a night at the West End and asking people to sit in. Why not? I got on the stand next to Percy France on one side and Willis Jackson on the other. Probably Sir John Godfrey on the drums. I was friends with everybody except Jackson. We played Yardbird Suite.
Before we even started to play Jackson was shooting daggers at me with his eyes. Just giving me nasty looks, and I had no idea why. It was just a friendly little session, really. And of course he kept looking at me as I played and glared at me until the end of the tune. And that was that. Not a pleasant experience. I did wonder if there was some racial thing going on, but I really couldn't tell why he behaved like he did.
Fast forward a few years. I'm at a party and a guy comes up to me. "Hey," he says, "someone said you were a jazz musician and I just had to ask you. Have you ever met Willis Jackson?"
I told him I had met the guy but couldn't say I "knew" him.
"Well, let me tell you. I'm a dentist and he came to see me and he was the NASTIEST guy I ever met. What a son of a bitch; so bad I told my receptionist that if he calls, DON'T let him ever come back."
This guy, the dentist, was black. So I felt a lot better and was quite amused.

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