Anthem

Anthem

by D.D. Jackson
     
 
Talk about your turnarounds. Last time we checked, D.D. Jackson was an avant garde acoustic piano player with a slamming attack out of Cecil Taylor and Don Pullen that could uproot an oak tree. Jackson has now put together a fusion project that finds him doubling on organ, with electric violinist Christian Howes as the other featured instrumentalist. Guest drummer

Overview

Talk about your turnarounds. Last time we checked, D.D. Jackson was an avant garde acoustic piano player with a slamming attack out of Cecil Taylor and Don Pullen that could uproot an oak tree. Jackson has now put together a fusion project that finds him doubling on organ, with electric violinist Christian Howes as the other featured instrumentalist. Guest drummer Jack DeJohnette falls into his best 1970s groove, hooking up mightily with electric bass virtuoso Richard Bona. The effect is ultimately one of a pleasant sea change. Jackson and his session mates sound keen and sure of themselves, itching to prove that present day fusion still has plenty of kick left in it. Indeed, Jackson does shake things up on both keyboards, guest soloist James Carter stirs up some dust with a few intense saxophone improvisations, and Howe's swirling violin lines are a handy replacement for the typical guitar excess that usually clutters fusion projects. On its best tracks (every title was composed by the leader), ANTHEM becomes Jackson's song of unexpected stylistic freedom.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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.
Entertainment Weekly - Steve Futterman
...delivers an out-of-character fusion album complete with electric bass, violin, and organ.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/07/2000
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0090266360628
catalogNumber:
63606

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