Top Artists – Illinois Jacquet

Illinois Jacquet – The Blues; That’s Me!

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  • Jacquet’s superb 1969 release finally arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • Rich, smooth, sweet, and natural, with the saxophone’s bite and squawk captured correctly, this is the kind of sound we love here at Better Records
  • Jacquet is one of the creators of the big, soulful tenor sax sound – I know of no one who plays it better
  • 5 stars: “Tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet is heard in top form throughout this quintet set with pianist Wynton Kelly, guitarist Tiny Grimes, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Oliver Jackson. The music, which falls between swing, bop and early R&B, is generally quite exciting…”


Illinois Jacquet – Bottoms Up

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Bottoms Up


  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last, this copy of Bottoms Up has much to recommend it
  • The sax is especially well recorded with just the right amount of bite and only the squawk of the real thing
  • Surprisingly transparent and dynamic, this recording highlights Jacquet’s soulful style
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Even in 1968 when the jazz avant-garde was becoming quite influential, tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet played in his own timeless style, performing in an idiom little changed during the previous 20 years.”

For big, full-bodied, bluesy, soulful saxophone jazz it’s hard to imagine you can do much better than the legendary Illinois Jacquet. (more…)

Illinois Jacquet / How High the Moon – A Killer Two-Fer Thanks to David Turner

  • This superb Prestige Two-Fer boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two and outstanding double plus (A++) sound on the other three
  • Compiled from four Jacquet albums released in 1968 and 1969, including favorites like “Bottoms Up,”The Blues; That’s Me”, and “The King”
  • Jacquet’s one of the creators of the big, soulful tenor sax sound – I know of no one who does it better 
  • “… a fine sampler to Jacquet’s music… it features Illinois in a variety of settings (ranging from a quartet to a mini-big band)…” — Allmusic

The album combines material from four different Illinois Jacquet albums (Bottoms Up, The King, The Soul Explosion, and The Blues; That’s Me!). The sound is AMAZING and Jacquet plays with wonderful emotion and skill throughout.

Check out the man’s bassoon playing on ‘Round Midnight, the last track on side four — now there’s a sound you don’t hear too often on a jazz record!

As a bonus, they selected only about half the material from each of these classic albums, turning over to each of them about one side of these two discs. Which simply means that the quality and variety are consistently high on all four of these sides. No unreleased material or alternate takes; in other words, no filler. (more…)

Illinois Jacquet on Classic Records – “Liked” in the ’90s

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Sonic Grade: C or Better

My guess is this is still a fairly good Classic Records jazz album. Years ago we wrote the following:

“This is actually one of the best Classic Jazz albums they released back in the ’90s. Both the music and sound are excellent. Jacquet is one of the creators of the big soulful tenor sax sound. I don’t know of anyone who does it better.”

We can’t be sure that we would still feel the same way. My guess is that this is still a good record if you can get one for the 30 bucks we used to charge.