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Jazz Birthday: McDuff | September 17, 2012

Jack McDuff  1926-2001

Brother Jack McDuff (later Cap’n Jack) started out as a bass player, working with pianist Denny Zeitlin and reedman Joe Farrell.  A mostly self-taught pianist and organist, he went on to lead one of the most popular soul-jazz groups, the Heatin’ System.

McDuff was strong on blues, and rarely played a standard in a “standard” fashion.  He excelled at composition and arranging, and had an ear for up-and-coming guitarists, hiring Kenny Burrell, George Benson, Grant Green and Pat Martino at the beginnings of their careers.

Sadly, there’s no quality video of McDuff in action.  But enjoy this from 1962:

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