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Anthem

D.D. Jackson

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Album Review

In this quick follow-up to his solo piano date So Far, Jackson combines his piano with organ overdubs; this sound, combined with violinist Christian Howes, makes for an arresting and unique new sonority. Electric bassist Richard Bona, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Mino Cinelu hold down the fort of rhythmic variety, and James Carter plays saxophone on a few cuts. Jackson wrote and arranged all of the material.

The first two pieces of the ten tracks really set the tone. The opener, "Spring Song," is a kinetic, fast samba with the collective whole, adding Howes on acoustic guitar as well as violin. It clearly defines Jackson's idealistic approach, buoyed by the churning percussion of DeJohnette and Cinelu. A swirling ostinato organ riff on the second cut, "Pat," leads to beautiful music inspired by Pat Metheny. Jackson's use of odd meters comes through on both the heavy, seven-beat calypso-blues pattern during "Carnivale" and the piano-oriented, breezy 5/4 of "Her Song." Gospel piano introduces "Water Dance," which employs another 5/4, classically tinged theme very much like chamber jazz, and that same gospel flavor shades the pop instrumental "Church," which takes on chameleonic dynamics that are difficult to peg or pigeonhole. Carter's squawky, overblown soprano sax, with Howes' violin attempting to match it, cements the hard bopping duel for "Showcase Blues," with Jackson's organ standing back while the front-liners extrapolate on lines that suggest the melody of "I Found a New Baby." On the loose free bopper "Dewey's Groove" (for Dewey Redman), Carter's histrionics inspire Jackson to go into his recognizable, Don Pullen-like freneticism. The remaining two pieces are the title track, a power-pop ballad with over nine minutes of primarily solos, and the pop ballad "Simple Song" with Bona's tiny, delicate, Milton Nascimento-styled ethno singing.

The high moments of this recording serve notice to the concept of original music being made in this modern era. Though not a complete, fully realized statement, there's enough here to suggest that Jackson is onto something with this approach. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Yeh, It's Good Stuff

D.D. got it right with Spring Song, which is sensational, and Her Song, which is beautiful.

Biography

Born: January 25, 1967 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Influenced by his mentor Don Pullen, D.D. Jackson helped the ailing Pullen complete his final work, "Earth Eagle First Circle," in 1995. Jackson started on the piano when he was six and, after growing up in Canada, he earned degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (in jazz) and Indiana University (in classical music); he also had valuable lessons with Pullen and Jaki Byard. D.D. Jackson has played with David Murray, Billy Bang,...
Full Bio

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