DD Jackson: Rhythm Dance

COMPOSERS: DD Jackson
LABELS: Justin Time
ALBUM TITLE: DD Jackson
WORKS: Rhythm Dance
PERFORMER: DD Jackson (p); John Geggis (b); Jean Martin (d)
CATALOGUE NO: JUST 89-2 (distr. New Note)

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Ottawa-born but New York-based, DD Jackson is probably best known for his sideman work with saxophonists David Murray and Carlos Ward, but a glittering career as a pianist/leader/ composer beckons on the evidence of this wonderfully lively but always musicianly album. A genuine eccentric in the great tradition of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols, with more than a dash of his late mentor Don Pullen evident in his percussive, freer playing, Jackson is shadowed every step of the way on a varied selection of originals by a superbly cohesive rhythm section drawn from the Canadian quartet Chelsea Bridge.

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The overall group sound – packed with dynamic contrast, splashes of discord alternating with unashamed lyricism – is oddly reminiscent of Yosuke Yamashita’s New York Trio, but Jackson’s writing, whether manifest in the jaunty tunes that serve as springboards for his astonishingly fecund improvisational gift, or in the emotive, dramatic ballads which allow welcome breathing spaces on this often hectic album, is what marks him out as a genuine original rather than simply a particularly gifted soloist. CP