Sadly, these are among the last tracks that Hammond B-3 preacher Brother Jack McDuff cut before his death last year.

Sadly, these are among the last tracks that Hammond B-3 preacher Brother Jack McDuff cut before his death last year. To his credit, the album's as exciting as anything he ever recorded, including the landmark LPs he cut in the early- and mid-'60s that brewed up a potent mix of bluesy bop, R&B groove, and black church fervor. Because of such musical marriages, he was one of the kingpins of "soul jazz." Initially sniffed at by jazz purists, McDuff's magic eventually won out, with his concoctions always hip, crisp, sprightly arranged, and wailing. His best-known tune, the driving "Rock Candy," is reprised here in a live duet with his successor to the B-3 crown, Joey DeFrancesco. The studio tracks spotlight McDuff's excellent working band, as well as former stablemates Red Holloway on tenor sax and Pat Martino on guitar. This is a wonderful, kick-ass album for old and new fans alike. And, of course, every Hammond player on the planet should own it.—BH