Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Masters of the B-3 Part One: 'Baby Face' Willette

'Baby Face" Willette-"Face To Face" Blue Note BST 84068 1961

When you think of B-3 Hammond organ jazz in the early-mid 1960's the first names that always come to mind are the Jimmy's (Messer's Smith and McGriff) then you've got "Big" John Patton, Richard "Groove" Holmes. Trudy Pitts, Shirley Scott, Larry Young and bubbling under is "Baby Face" Willette.

Certainly not the most well known of all of the 60's jazz Hammond heroes, but certainly not the least.  This 1961 platter cooks thanks in no small part to the solid backing unit of the great Grant Green (guitar), Fred Jackson (tenor sax), Ben Dixon (drums) and of course the melodic organ noodling of  'Baby Face' himself.  I'm no authority on jazz and what I know about it can fill one sheet of double spaced notebook paper (do they still make that?), but I know what I like and I like my jazz before it got busy, funky and too out there (pre-'67 please) and this LP is where it's it for me.  It's straight up "mod jazz" in both the parka wearing sense and the trad jazz trumping sense.  Check out if you care, it's been reissued on CD and is hopefully still out there.

Hear "Face To Face":

No comments: