”Discoteca Il Salotto (Bologna) Live”
Recorded live, approx. nov.1980
Willis “Gator” Jackson originally established himself as a honking R&B tenor saxophonist before modifying his style and becoming a success in hard bop/soul-jazz.
Jackson was born in Florida, where he played as a teen-ager with the celebrated trumpeter Fats Navarro and other future jazz stars. He turned down offers of employment from Lionel Hampton and Andy Kirk in order to complete a college education at Florida A&M. Jackson initially played locally until he got his big break and joined Cootie Williams in 1948.
Jackson was showcased honking and screaming throughout the two-sided recording “Gator Tail” which earned him the nickname of “Gator” and led to him making his first records as a leader in 1950.
Willis Jackson was a popular attraction in the R&B field throughout the first half of the 1950s before rock and roll took over. He was married to Ruth Brown and appeared on many of her recordings of the era. Besides backing Ruth on many of her hits, he became a regular Atlantic session musician and also recorded under his own name. But by 1959 he had wisely altered his approach, eliminating some of the more excessive shrieks but still playing in a highly expressive style that fit in well with organ combos and in soul-jazz settings.
During 1959-1968, Jackson recorded constantly for Prestige, making a couple of dozen albums. Among the sets that are currently available are “Please Mr. Jackson,” “Legends of Acid Jazz,” “Keep on a Blowin,” “Gentle Gator,” “At Large,” “Gravy,” “Soul Night Live, With
Pat Martino,” and “Nuther’n Like Thuther’n.” Several of these CDs feature guitarist Pat Martino when he was a talented teenager.
In the late 70s he led a tenor-organ combo featuring Carl Wilson (organ), and Pat Martino (guitar). He enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the organist Jack McDuff.
In his last years Jackson was heard frequently at various Harlem nightspots and at the West End Cafe near Columbia University, where he traded solos with George Kelly, an early friend from Miami, in a band called Two Tenor Boogie.
Willis Jackson continued playing in prime form
up to the time of his 1987 death.
Willis Jackson left an imposing legacy of recordings covering all of his active period from 1950 up through the ‘80’s. Many are still available and are prime examples of high energy soul jazz played by one of its masters.
Born: April 25, 1932
From ”All About Jazz”
Da molti sconosciuto e dall’estesa discografia, Willis Jackson resta per me uno dei migliori swingers al sax. Anche se molti non concorderanno. Per me il ”Gator” ha sempre significato ”groove” e movimento. Più volte l’ho programmato nelle mie serate, da ”Bar Wars” a ”Good Bread Alley” passando per i grandi lavori su Prestige e Muse.
Da noi di MFS un omaggio al grande ”Gator Man”.
Willis Jackson Discography:
2003 The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions: Live on Stage
1992 Call of the Gators [Bonus Tracks]
1980 Nothing Butt
1980 Ya Understand Me?
1978 Lockin’ Horns: Willis and Von Live at Laren
1978 Single Action
1977 Bar Wars
1977 The Gator Horn
1976 Plays With Feeling
1976 In The Alley
1975 The Way We Were
1974 Headed And Gutted
1973 West Africa
1973 Funky Reggae
1972 Willis Jackson Recording Session
1970 Mellow Blues
1968 Gator’s Groove
1968 Swivel Hips
1968 Star Bag
1967 Soul Grabber
1966 Together Again, Again
1965 Smokin’ with Willis
1964 Tell It….
1964 Live! Jackson’s Action
1964 Soul Night/Live!
1964 Live! Action
1964 With Pat Martino
1964 Gator Tails
1964 Willis Jackson
1964 Boss Shoutin’
1963 More Gravy
1963 Grease ‘n’ Gravy
1963 The Good Life
1962 Neapolitan Nights
1962 Bossa Nova Plus Shuckin’
1961 Really Groovin’
1961 Gentle Gator
1961 In My Solitude
1960 Cool Gator
1960 This’ll Get to Ya
1959 Cookin’ Sherry
1959 Together Again!
1959 Blue Gator
1959 Please Mr. Jackson
1959 Cool Grits
1959 Keep on a Blowin’
1950 On My Own
Compilations & Boxed Sets
2005 Later for the Gator
2005 The Remaining Willis Jackson 1951-1959
2004 After Hours
2003 Together Again! [Together Again/Together Again, Again]
2002 Soul Night Live!/Tell It…
2002 Nuther’n Like Thuther’n: More Gravy/Boss Shoutin’
2001 Plays with Feeling/The Way We Were
2000 At Large
1998 Legends of Acid Jazz
1961 Soul Stompin’: The Best of Willis Jackson
1959 The Best of Willis Jackson with Brother Jack McDuff
1949 Call of the Gators
Also Johnny Hammond Cooks With Gator Tail – 1962
(A.K.A. DJ Mark The 45 King)
Biography by Nathan Bush (AMG)
Producer DJ Mark “The 45 King” burst onto the rap scene during the late ’80s with his bona fide breakbeat classic “The 900 Number.” However, following successful productions for Queen Latifah and his own crew, the Flavor Unit, the 45 King’s resistance to changing trends and hip-hop’s own fleeting loyalty combined to ensure his eventual obscurity. Continually respected by the hip-hop underground, he remained a prolific producer throughout his career, lending his remixing and engineering skills to nearly 40 releases from 1987 to 2000.
Born Mark James, the 45 King (as he prefers, simply, to be known) got his first taste of rap music in the late ’70s as the “record boy” for Bronx-based rap pioneers the Funky 4 (pre-+ 1). Learning the ropes of the hip-hop trade, James received an invaluable insider’s look at the coveted breakbeat records that were the very battle tools of DJ competitions. Departing from the Funky 4 circle, the 45 King spent the mid-’80s as a DJ on the New Jersey scene. In 1983, at the age of 22, his first production for MC Marky Fresh caught the attention of KISS-FM’s Kool DJ Red Alert. It wasn’t until 1987 that James’ career really got underway, however, with his work for Wild Pitch artist Latee on “This Cut’s Got Flavor.” That same year, the 45 King slowed down the sax solo from a record he’d received from Tuff City’s Aaron Fuchs and dropped the results over an irresistibly funky break. The resulting track, “The 900 Number,” exploded, its horn line (sampled from Marva Whitney’s James Brown-produced “Unwind Yourself”) forever ingrained in the collective hip-hop psyche. The 45 King was awarded a production deal and a long-term contract. He proceeded to showcase the members of the Flavor Unit on a series of Tuff City releases.
Debuts from Lakim Shabazz (Pure Righteousness) and Chill Rob G (”Court Is in Session”) were released in 1988. The following year, new Tommy Boy recording artist Queen Latifah selected the 45 King to contribute tracks to her debut, All Hail the Queen. The collaboration produced Latifah hits “Wrath of My Madness” and “Ladies First.”
Aaliyah-Try Again (remix),Your Girl 2000 (remix)
Apache-I Feel Like Flowing, Smooth But Hard, Do Fa Self, Flavor Unit Assassination Squad & remix,Passin The Mike
Big Pooh-Roll With Me, Simplicity, Still The One, Harlem Bros, Drop Da Bomb
Big Scoob-Can Du
Biz Markie-Turn Back The Hands of Time
Bush Babees-The Love Song (remix)
C & C Music Factory_Do You Wanna Get Funky (remix)
Carry Von Murry-Lady
Celph Titled-Right Now
Chill Rob G-Chillin, Ride The Rhythm LP, Let Me Know (remix), Simplicity, Go Off Rob, Taking Them Back
Class A Felony
Cold Crush Brothers-Heartbreakers (remix),We Reserve The Right To Rock (remix)
Craig Mack-Wooden Horse
David Bowie-Fame 90
Def Jef -Don’t Sleep,
Diamond D-Best Kept Secret (Remix),Check 1-2, Double Dare, U Don’t Owe Me
Digital Underground-Packetman (45 King’s extended mix)
DJ Kool-Let Me Clear My Throat (remix)
Double J-Cannibal Town, Def Style, The Hitman LP,Flavor Unit Assassination Squad & remix, Big Ballers
Ed Lover and Dre-Who’s The Man
Eric B & Rakim-Microphone Fiend (Remix),Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em (Remix),The R (Remix), I Know You Got Soul (45 King unreleased remix), Run for Cover, Mahagony Rakim: Feeling You, How I Get Down
Fanclub Erdberg-Anton Polster Du Bist Leiwand
Gangstarr-Knowledge, Gusto, Movin On’ ,To Be A Champion, Bust A Move
Grandmaster Caz-A Girl Named Kim (remix)
Jay-Z-Hard Knock Life, Check It
Jibri Wise One-I’ll Be There For You (remix)
John Davis & The Monster Orchestra-I Can’t Stop (45 King Hip Hop Break Re- Mix)
Kid Capri-Put The Funk Out
King Sun-Fat Tapes, It’s A Heat Up
Lady Champain-Super People,Welcome to the Terrordome, Drop Da Bomb
Lakim Shabazz-Pure Righteousness LP,Lost Tribe of Shabazz LP,The Red, The Black & The Green,When A Wise Man Speaks, Your Arms Too Short To Box with God,Hands of Fate,La-Kim Theme,Raw Dope Rhyme,900 Number (version off Master of The Game LP), Style is Free,Flavor Unit Assassination Squad & remix, Really Don’t Want It, Flow Motion
Latee-No Tricks,Wake Up, This Cuts Got Flavor, Brainstorm,Passin The Mike
Puttin on The Hits,
Lati Rocks The Bells
Lisa Stansfield-Been Around the World (Remix)
Lord Alibaski-Top Gun,What It Takes To Be A Rapper, Lyrics in Motion,Flavor Unit Assassination Squad & remix
Lucy Hawkins-Gotta Get Outta Here (45 King original break mix)
Madonna-Keep it Together -(Remix)
Maestro Fresh Wes-Drop The Needle on the Record (remix)
Major Force- Orchids-I Will Call You (remix)
Maniac Mob-Get Up, Popcorn, Rock The Rhythm
Markey Fresh-The King is Here, No Thang, The Mack of Rap
MC Lyte-Big Bad Sister, Kamikaze, Like a Virgin, Absolutely,Practical Jokes
MC Sugar Ray & Stranger D-Knock Em Out (remix)
Miss Bell-7 Days
Mobb Deep-Scam (remix)
Paula Perry-Y’all Chickens Make Me Laugh
PMD-Thought I Lost My Spot
Princess Superstar-Bad Babysitter (remix)
Public Enemy-Bring The Noise (remix)
Queen Latifah-All Hail The Queen LP, Princess of the Posse (remix),Jersey State of Mind, Name Callin
Rasco-Run The Line (remix)
Ruff Jusdis-Keep Up With The Rhyme (Piano Mix)
Salt N Pepa-My Mic Sounds Nice (Remix)
Shelly Thunder-Working Girl (Extended Mix)
Spoonie Gee-Spoonin Rap (remix)
Stereo MCs -On 33 (remix)
Take 6 -Spread Love?
The Jaz-Sign of The Crimes,Rhymes For Da Funny Farm
Together Brothers-Get Off His & Get Off Mine
Too Nice-Cold Facts (remix)
Trey Lorenz-On and On
Wanda Dee-To The Bone
Wee Papa Girl Rappers-Wee Rule (Hip Hop Remix)
X-Clan-Heed The Word of a Brother
Here on WakeYourDaughterUp blog you can find more!