The trombone torch has been passed to the incredible Jason Jackson!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
As I have so often said, release dates are somewhat meaningless in the day of the digital download and advanced ordering. Mark your calendar for October 14 as Jason Jackson releases Inspiration. Ten years in the making we find Jackson leading full orchestras with rhythm, horn and string sections. Two releases in thirteen years might raise some eyebrows. It did as we have an all star lineup of soloists including Roy Hargrove, Rufus Reid and Terell Stafford to name but a few. While some players would literally phone in a jazz orchestra riff on the Great American Songbook, we find five originals and six tunes where Jackson was involved with some cutting edge arrangements.
Far from a newbie, Jackson is one of the most sought after performers in New York. A soloist that finds that harmonic happy place somewhere between J.J. Johnson and Urbie Green. Inspiration is filled with variety from Brazilian inspired compositions to reinvented standards including "Spring Is Here" and "Tenderly." These ballads may well be his wheelhouse but straight ahead smokers such as "Burnin" clearly show Jackson is far from a one trick pony.
The trombone field is becoming a tightly clustered pack but this most impressive release from Jason Jackson should have heads turning in his direction in short order. Other magnificent performances are turned in by Steve Wilson, Slide Hampton and Pete Christlieb.
A stealth recording with serious Grammy potential!
Tracks: Brazilian Bop; Burnin'; Spring Is Here; Salute To Mandela; El Huesero; The Spot; April In Paris; Tenderly; Wake Up Election 2000; My Friend Sam.