For his first recording, drummer Bruce Jackson leads a group very much in the tradition of the classic Bill Evans trio. Jackson is from the New York/New Jersey area; he studied with classical percussionist Nick Cerrato at New Jersey City University and has played with the likes of Count Basie saxophone veteran Earle Warren, Sonny Fortune, Mino Cinelu and others in a wide variety of jazz settings. Bruce Jackson has also been a guest artist at the American School of Modern Music in Paris, and he served as an educator there.
Don't Sleep on Your Dreams mixes a number of standards from the Great American Songbook with jazz standards by Wayne Shorter, Larry Young, Thelonious Monk, Buster Williams and David Liebman. The album begins with a stately version of Shorter's "Footprints" where Jackson provides striking cymbal work and Bob Himmelberger plays the familiar melody with a lot of blues feeling. Nicholas Bayak follows with a rich bass solo.
Jackson switches to brushes for a tasty version of Buster Williams' "Firewater" and manages a creative drum solo after both Himmelberger and Bayak. Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning" gets a lot of snap, crackle and pop from Jackson, and again on Larry Young's "Paris Eyes," he trades most effectively with Himmelberger.
Another highlight of the album is the interpretation of the standard "Never Let Me Go," which features beautifully meshed playing by the trio, enhanced by Himmelberger's soulful piano. In sum, all of the members contribute to this finished product, and the leader provides a number of subtly shaded percussion opportunities.
Personnel: Bruce Jackson: drums; Bob Himmelberger: piano; Nicholas Bayak: bass.