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Willis Jackson

Willis Jackson

Biography

His performances are so gritty and drenched in sweat that Jack Kerouac included some ranting praises for Jackson in On the Road. Jackson's breathy tone and face-reddening squeals and honks have torn down many a drinking establishment since the 1950s, and it's arguable that the man called "Gator Tail" (after a type of saxophone he pioneered) is one of the best Soul Jazz musicians to blow a horn. His pairings with guitarist Pat Martino are incendiary, especially the classic Bar Wars recorded in the '70s. It must be Jackson's tenure as an R&B player early in his career that gave him the ability to come up with solos so melodic and filled with emotion they leave you shivering. Best when paired with a steamy organ groove.
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