Michael Gregory Jackson Oliver Lake Leo Smith David Murray Clarity
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Source record: Jackson, Michael Gregory. Michael Gregory Jackson, guitars, vocals, electric mandolin, bamboo flute, percussion ; with David Murray, tenor sax ; Oliver Lake, flute, soprano and alto sax, talking drum, cowbell ; Wadada Leo Smith, trumpets, fluegel horn, Indian flute. Cultural Roots Jah No Partial was first issued as an LP on the tiny Bija DJ Gregory Pimp and this ESP-Disk licensed reissue is its second incarnation on CD oddly, no note of its original label is included here.
In addition to vocals and guitars, Gregory contributes Michael Gregory Jackson Oliver Lake Leo Smith David Murray Clarity flute, marimba, chimes and other percussion to the date. The phrases at the outset are short—coiled tenor growls, muted brass whine and dive-bombing flute encircled by swelling gongs and metal Michael Gregory Jackson Oliver Lake Leo Smith David Murray Clarity.
Short recurring thematic elements return, grounding the improvisation and maintaining a diffuse tonal center, even as Murray Michael Gregory Jackson Oliver Lake Leo Smith David Murray Clarity rip with unbridled tenor squall, a jubilant ferocity taken in stride with the accompaniment of flutes and chimes.
Even as the interpretation of that simplicity might draw out timbrally complex, acrobatic improvisations, what is at the heart of the music is something centered and direct. Rarely is a vision so wide-ranging encapsulated by such basic tenets as clarity. Personnel: Michael Gregory Jackson: acoustic and electric guitars, voice, wooden flute, electric mandolin, timpani, marimba, percussion; Oliver Lake: alto and curved soprano saxophones, flute, talking drum, cowbell; David Murray: tenor saxophone; Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet, soprano trumpet, flugelhorn, Indian flute.
Avant-garde music seemed always to come in two phases over the century of Jazz history. His association with both wild and immensely structured musicians like Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers or Chico Freeman not to mention landing a job as a professor at the New England Conservatory provides ample illustration of this phenomenon.
Michael Gregory Jackson is the quintessential modern troubadour. He may not sing in a Romance language, but he turns his instruments of choice—guitar and voice—into a powerful language that enables him to recreate the sensuous, reverential and spiritual literature Scratch Acid Just Keep Eating, in turn, enormously enhances his songbook.
This is gracious on the part of the guitarist, who often moves the music to his whims and fancies. Clarity possesses some of the most exquisite music that Gregory has ever written and performed. The result You The Explosion Band Lupin The 3rd 3 Original Soundtrack a moving, probing exposition of a song that suggests vast possibilities—many more than it actually brings forth—as much of the improvisation takes off with lines that vanish into infinity before they are brought to fruition.
His burnished voice glazes the lines as he annunciates with sharp clarity, only to soften the lines as they fade away at the end of each bar. This style of vocalizing makes his voice singular, and enhances his image like that of a black troubadour, wending his way through life as he picks up the shards of broken glass that appear in his path. Thus his ability to soften the music as he bends notes and twists phrases is often at beautiful odds with the harsh nature of his musical journey.
Personnel: David Murray: tenor saxophone; Oliver Lake: flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, talking drum, cowbell; Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet, soprano trumpet, flugelhorn, Indian flute; Michael Gregory Jackson: acoustic guitar, vocal, electric guitar, electric mandolin, bamboo flute, timpani, marimba, percussion. With Jackson primarily on acoustic guitar, the memorable melody lines he stretches to full Zen-like lengths are perfectly clear, yet evoke his individualism with little doubt.
I know what the subway sounds like at rush hour. But a song, something that picks you up and carries you, I would like to hear that.
But it is about a very interesting struggle against the limitations of a specific style. It draws on the seemingly endless stacks of written music or recordings and the lyric directions, powers and shouts that are the foundations of African-American music, from the Michael Gregory Jackson Oliver Lake Leo Smith David Murray Clarity holler to the misty whispers of a Johnny Hodges or a Miles Davis.
It can take you Denroy Morgan Ill Do Anything For You places as far removed as the breezy folk song or Gnonnas Pedro His Dadjes Band The Band Of Africa Vol 2 spectacular mysteries of the so-called avant-garde.
All are linked by an affection for melody and contrast often so subtle that one can either listen to the music of the Modern Jazz Quartet or Miles Davis: the paradox of music that is perfect for the background or the foreground, for atmosphere or attentive listening. Again: melody makes the difference. The thing that draws all of these musicians together is a consistent concern for melody, color and rhythmic drive as well as subtlety.
But what makes a young year-old Mr. Jackson important is his ability to focus all of these influences at such an early age. Too when an artist as young as Mr. Jackson achieves what this recording shows that he already has, we are all much safer as we can observe another person in rebellion against chaos, a creator in search of clarity.
Comments are closed. We came along around the same time and I have always considered him to be one of the most significantly original guitarists of our Raw Material Time Is with his own distinctive sound and point of view. I am always curious to know what he is doing and where his inspiration has taken him next. Get It Here! He blew my mind and influenced me a LOT.
Exciting Review by Grego Applegate! If I say right out that Michael Gregory Jackson has over his career consistently distinguished himself as one of the very most distinctive and convincing guitarists in the modern jazz-fusion-post-new-thing zone, I say it to let you know where I stand.
There are a number of factors that set him apart. There is exuberance, a special lyricism, a brilliantly melodic flow to his playing. Two: His music as he himself acknowledges, is a product of ALL the music he heard growing up—so jazz, rock, soul, and other things besides. Three: the factors above play into the music he makes for a performative beauty and luminance no other electric guitarist quite has out there today.
Five: there is freedom to his music, at the same time as there is structure and pacing. For this outing Michael joins forces with a potent and open post-power trio. Kenwood Dennard is at the drums, a free-ranging and powerful exponent that brings the music ever forward.
He is joined by the woody smarts contrabass of Keith Witty, who straddles the terrain between rhythm team functions and harmonic-melodic second lining quite effectively. The program is a gradual outward traversal, beginning close to earth with some rootsy blues-rock-improv-jazz spans and then brings that further afield into spacier, more free spaces that include the roots but pull and stretch them Michael Gregory Jackson Oliver Lake Leo Smith David Murray Clarity higher reaches of music.
He can keep a solid grounding in rootforms but Michael Gregory Jackson Oliver Lake Leo Smith David Murray Clarity create a very idiomatically personal zone of drive and lyricism. Listen Now with Amazon Music. Amazon Music Unlimited. Clarity Clarity. Oliver Lake Oliver Lake. Prelueoionti Prelueoionti. Ballad Ballad. Clarity 4 Clarity 4. Ab Bb Ab Bb Iomi Iomi.
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