Anthony Jackson and Yiorgos Fakanas: Interspirits
The musicians who make up the Kinisis String Quartet of Colours Orchestra and the seven-piece brass section hail from Greece, and are joined by Weckl, Gambale and Foreman. Fakanas brought the Americans into the project and is delighted by their contribution: "All of them play like it is their own album," he enthuses. For Jackson, who has collaborated with all three over the years, their inclusion in the project was significant: "It was one of the things that made me less apprehensive about committing to my first project of this kind," he explains, "the fact that Yiorgos was not only talking about getting the best players but putting it into action. It gave me confidence to commit. I knew that here was somebody with whom I could have a productive and rewarding musical association. How could I say no?"
A productive association it has certainly been, for Interspirit is one of the more original fusion recordings of recent years, with playing of the highest standard. It has been a demanding but ultimately rewarding experience on a personal level for both Fakanas and Jackson. For Fakanas, simply playing alongside Jackson was somewhat intimidating: "It was a great honor for me but also a great challenge because Anthony Jackson plays the same instrument and he's one of the greatest bass players ever! I wanted to make something that he would be proud of." Jackson, despite the personal challenges he faced, is justifiably pleased with the results: "It was a very intense and very rewarding project," he says. "Interspirit was the first project of its kind where there was a chance to experiment with something I had long thought about. I had never come into a project where the music was written around me as the featured player. Interspirit gave me the chance to reach out and find myself. I'm pleased with the way it turned out."
The hope is to bring the music to a live audience, as Fakanas explains: "Right now we're trying to organize tours with Anthony and me on bass, with Mitch Forman and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez on drums, along with saxophonist Takis Paterelis and trombonist Antonis Andreou. In Greece, we played just seven concerts but we are hoping to tour America, Europe and Asia later this year. And I'm looking forward to future collaborations with Anthony," Fakanas confirms.
For Jackson, too, the ambition is tour with this music, the economy and logistics permitting. However, there is a determination in his voice when he says: "It's not going to be easy but I have confidence that it will happen and it's something that I want to happen. It's going to happen." As for the suggestion by Fakanas that there may be future collaborations, there is little doubt in Jackson's mind: "I am certainly going to collaborate with Yiorgos again on other projects where he is going to write orchestral music with me as a featured performer. I have always wanted to play with an orchestra. Yiorgos is the first person I have had the chance to record with in such a context. "
With one eye on the future and summing up the essence of Interspirit Jackson states: "I think it will become more apparent with future collaborations with Yiorgos that an important aspect of the record is an inner, subtle glorification of the collaboration between composer and performer. There's more to come. I have a lot more left in me."
Anthony Jackson/Yiorgos Fakanas, Interspirit (Abstract Logix, 2010)
Fahir Atakoglu (with Anthony Jackson), Istanbul in Blue (Far&Here LLC, 2008)
Steve Khan (with Anthony Jackson), The Suitcase (Tone Center, 2008)
Yiorgos Fakanas, Domino (ANAM Records, 2005)
Yiorgos Fakanas, Echoes (Libera Records, 2004)
Hiromi (with Anthony Jackson), Another Mind (Telarc Jazz, 2003)
Simon Phillips (with Anthony Jackson), Another Mind (Magna Carta, 1997)
Michel Camilo (with Anthony Jackson), Rendevouz (Columbia Records, 1993)
Yiorgos Fakanas, Amorosa (Sony Music, 1991)
Michel Petrucciani (with Anthony Jackson), Playground (EMI Records, 1991)
Dizzy Gillespie (with Anthony Jackson), Rhythmstick (Cti Records, 1991)
Iskra (with Yirogos Fakanas), Parastasis (Utopia, 1990)
Wayne Krantz (with Anthony Jackson), Signals (Enja, 1990)
Yiorgos Fakanas, Horizon (RCA Records, 1989)
Iskra (with Yiorgos Fakanas), A New Day (Polygram, 1986)
Steely Dan (with Anthony Jackson), Gaucho (MCA Records, 1980)
Paul Simon (with Anthony Jackson), One Trick Pony (Warner Brothers, 1980)
Chick Corea (with Anthony Jackson), The Leprechaun (Polydor Records, 1976)
The O'Jays (with Anthony Jackson), Ship Ahoy (Philadelphia International Records, 1973)