SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

Fred Jackson, tenor sax – Hootin’ ‘n Tootin’ – Blue Note/Analogue Productions/EMI

These players come out of rhythm n' blues but are a hoot playing mainstream jazz.

Published on August 22, 2009

Fred Jackson, tenor sax – Hootin’ ‘n Tootin’ – Blue Note/Analogue Productions/EMI

Fred Jackson, tenor sax – Hootin’ ‘n Tootin’ – Blue Note/Analogue Productions/EMI stereo-only SACD CBNJ 84094 SA [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] *****:

(Fred Jackson, tenor sax; Earl Vandyke, organ; Willie Jones, guitar; Wilbert Hogan, drums)

This is another in the series of original Blue Note sessions, mostly from the early 60s (so are in stereo), which were remastered for SACD by Analogue Productions and now have ended up with distribution by Harmonia mundi. I’m not sure of the details on that, but it’s great to have them available. The sonics are superb in two channel – I feel they’re superior to most of the Fantasy stereo-only SACDs that were issued a few years ago. Rudy Van Gelder was of course the engineer, and by this time the very early hole-in-the-middle wide stereo soundstage problems seem to have been corrected.  Vandyke’s B-3 is dead center  – you would think your center channel speaker is operating though it’s not. Jackson’s sax is at the left speaker and Jones’ guitar at the right speaker.

I must admit I never heard of Jackson before; that’s probably because he came out of the “chittlin’ circuit” of black blues clubs and paid most of his dues in the rhythm and blues area. The 1962 session was only his second recording. This quartet is basically the B-3-based trio heard in many such clubs, with the addition of Jackson’s potent tenor sax. The four performers take the listener to the “land of blues and roots” – as expressed in the album’s notes. This is straight-forward, uncomplicated and fiercely swinging stuff.  Not just the blues, but gospel (Preach Brother) and spiritual (Egypt Land) elements crop up here and there in the music. The B-3 sounds great; Vandyke brings off some impressive finger magic, but he’s not a showoff B-3 performer like some heard today. All four players seem to really dig being able to play in a more jazz-oriented style, and they’re more than capable of handling it with ease.

Most of such reissues from the LP era add a couple bonus tracks to the original material which was cut down to fit the more limited LP length, but this one hits the jackpot with a total of seven bonus tracks – the last seven in the list below:

TrackList: Dippin’ in the Bag, Southern Exposure, Preach Brother, Hootin’ ‘n Tootin,’ Easin’ on Down, That’s Where It’s At, Way Down Home, Stretchin’ Out, Mr. B.J., Egypt Land, Teena, On the Spot, Minor Exposure, Little Freddie.

 - John Henry




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