WCSU

Artist Profiles - Organist "Brother" Jack McDuff

Brother" Jack McDuff was a jazz organist and organ trio bandleader who was most prominent during the hard bop and soul jazz era of the 1960's, often performing with an organ trio. He is also credited with giving guitarist George Benson his first break.

Born Eugene McDuffy in Champaign, Illinois on September 17, 1926, McDuff began playing bass, appearing in Joe Farrell's group. Encouraged by Willis Jackson in whose band he also played bass in the late 50s, McDuff moved to the organ and began to attract the attention of Prestige Records while still with Jackson's group. McDuff soon became a bandleader, leading groups featuring a young George Benson, Red Holloway on saxophone and Joe Dukes on drums.

McDuff recorded many classic albums on Prestige including his debut solo “Brother Jack” in 1960, “The Honeydripper” in 1961, with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest and guitarist Grant Green, “Brother Jack Meets The Boss” and “Screamin” in 1962.

After his tenure at Prestige, McDuff joined the Atlantic label for a brief period and then in the 70s recorded for Blue Note. “Brother Jack McDuff died of heart failure at the age of 74 in Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 23, 2001.