Friday, August 8, 2014

Ali Jackson Amalgamations Sunnyside 2014

Ali Jackson finds his creative center with the wildly creative Amalgamations!
Brent Black /
Drummers are seemingly by nature musical nomads. The good drummers can work an ensemble both large and small while elevating those around them to play at levels perhaps not previously considered. Jackson keeps it relatively simple from a conceptual nature, get by with a little help from your friends and don't get in your own way and the dividends paid here are huge. The band is ridiculous and includes Wynton Marsalis, JD Allen and Aaron Goldberg. The concept? Take some familiar tunes and don't reharm the melody into the jazz witness protection program, let it come to you. Ali Jackson is a critically acclaimed and widely respected drummer. He may not be a household name yet...but it's coming.
The opener "Ali Got Rhythm" is the perfect showcase for Goldberg and bassist Omer Avital. Simple changes yet deceptively complex in lyrical flow. JD Allen give yet another stellar performance on "I Love You" where his tone reinforces the theme and pairs nicely with pianist Eldar Djangirov. Bassist Carlos Henriquez simply kills it with "Inner Urge" and again with the trio combination of  Marsalis, Jackson and Henriquez on the standard "Cherokee."
Meters and dynamics change on the fly. A lyrical smorgasbord of flavor and colors in one of the most diverse straight ahead recordings of the year.
A one word review, stellar.
Tracks: Ali Got Rhythm; Cachita; Done Tol' You Fo' Five Time; Praise; Cherokee; Just A Closer Walk With Thee; I Love You; Thelonius; Kentucky Girl; Fee Fi Fo Fum; Inner Urge
Personnel: Ali Jackson: Drums; Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet; JD Allen: Tenor Saxophone; Ted Nash: Alto Saxophone; Vincent Gardner: Trombone; Jonathan Batiste: Fender Rhodes; Shedrick Mitchell: Organ; Aaron Goldberg: Piano; Eldar Djangirov: Piano; Omer Avital: Bass; Carlos Henriquez: Bass; Phillip Keuhn: Bass; Bobby Allende: Percussion