Lately I've been listening to a lot of early-60s Tenor-Organ group soul jazz from Blue Note. I recently picked up the Mosaic Select "Big" John Patton boxed set, "Face to Face" from "Baby Face" Willette, featuring Fred Jackson on tenor (and one cut of bari)and "Hootin' 'n Tootin' from Jackson himself. I am enjoying this man's playing thoroughly.
Jackson is a big toned tenor player, who seems to have been significantly influenced by Gene Ammons and was apparently known primarily as an R&B player (he was in Lloyd Price's back-up band). According to the liner notes and what I've been able to find on AMG, the Blue Note brass were sufficiently impressed by Jackson on the Baby Face Willette recording to give him his own session. On "Hootin'", Jackson uses his band-mates from the Lloyd Price band of the time; Earl VanDyke on B3, Willie Jones on guitar and Wilbert Hogan on drums. Both this recording, and "Face to Face", are fine examples of the "grits 'n gravy" style of soul jazz which made the Tenor-Organ group so popular.
This was his only session as a leader, and other than the Big John Patton set (recorded a couple of years later) on which he appears with Harold Vick, I have not found anything else. Confusing things somewhat is the fact that there is another reed player named Fred Jackson (about a decade younger as far as I can tell) who appeared on recordings by Earth, Wind and Fire, among others. A Google search turned up little information, including whether or not Jackson is still alive.
If anyone (Tim Price?) knows anything about Fred Jackson, including whether or not he's still alive and playing (he'd be in his mid-70's by now) I'd be interested.
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