Fred Jackson was born in 1929, a Flautist and saxophonist, he only released one album and played on a handful of sessions for Blue Note before disappearing from the jazz scene in the mid-'60s. He deserved a better fate. Although he wasn't a wildly original tenor saxophonist, he was a solid journeyman who found a successful common ground between hard bop and earthy soul-jazz on his jazz sessions. His R&B-inflected style worked well on uptempo ravers and slow blues alike, and he had a nice, robust tone. Despite his attributes, he quietly faded away from jazz in the mid-'60s, after his lone album Hootin' 'N Tootin' failed to sell.
Toward the end of the '50s, he gained his experience playing with such popular artists as Paul Williams, Lil’ Green, Paul Gayton, Chuck Willis and also Lionel Hampton. He later was invited to join the supporting band for R&B vocalist Lloyd Price and frequently toured with Price.
Jackson made his recording debut in 1961, playing on a B.B. King session. Shortly afterward, he cut his first jazz record, appearing in organist Baby Face Willette's band on the album Face to Face. Impressed by his performance on the record, Blue Note offered the saxophonist a chance to lead his own session and he accepted. Along with his bandmates -- guitarist Willie Jones, organist Earl Vandyke and drummer Wilbert Hogan -- into the studio on February 2, 1965 to record the album that became Hootin' 'N Tootin'. Two months later, he went back to Van Gelder Studios with his supporting trio and bassist Sam Jones to record his second album. That session was never released, either because Hootin' 'N Tootin' sold poorly or because, as Alfred Lion's notes claimed, that the record was too short for release. The sessions finally appeared in 1998, when they were added as bonus tracks to the CD reissue of Hootin' 'N Tootin'.