112

Frank Jackson: New York After Dark

By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Jackson: New York After Dark San Francisco's Frank Jackson has an impressive musical resume. At age 78, he has 60 years of musical experience as a singer/pianist. He dates back to Bay Area jazz clubs like Jimbo's Bop City and Slim Gaillard's Voute City and has been associated with some of the jazz masters of the Twentieth Century (e.g. Parker, Webster, Ellington). Jackson has also been classmates with Cal Tjader and Vince Guaraldi. Over the years, he became an effective pianist who was frequently sought out as an accompanist for jazzmen in the area. Last year, at the insistence of the late pianist, James Williams, Jackson traveled to New York to record this session in November 2003, for which Williams selected the musicians.

The seventy-minute, thirteen-track album offers an accurate snapshot of Frank Jackson's abilities as a jazz singer. It is inevitable that he will be compared with Johnny Hartman insofar as choice of material, delivery and jazz sensibilities, although he does not possess Hartman's resonous baritone. The tunes are all from the Great American Songbook, albeit a few obsure entries, plus Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite." Listen to the phrasing on Vernon Duke's "Autumn in New York," including a rarely heard verse, and Rodgers & Hart's "You Are Too Beautiful," and appreciate how the lyrics are presented in an unhurried fashion. "If I Should Lose You" is taken up-tempo and Jackson scats during the break.

On "Yardbird Suite," the uncredited lyrics are neither the words of Eddie Jefferson nor Bob Dorough and do not celebrate the genius of Bird. Nevertheless, Jackson swings the tune and offers a lengthy scat which ends with him trading fours with Kenny Washington. Four of the songs are rather unheard compositions, including "Baby I'm Yours" from the pens of Austin singer/songwriter Guy Clark and C&W singer Steve Wariner. The most attractive of these is Una Mae Carlisle's "I See A Million People (But All I Can See Is You)," which recalls the material performed by the Nat King Cole Trio during the 1940s.

This must have been one of the last sessions for pianist James Williams, who passed away earlier this year. He was the inspiration and arranger for this session and provides superior support and solos during these selections. Billy Pierce makes an appearance on tenor and soprano sax on raises the level on each of the four tracks that he appears on. Notably his soprano work on "You Go To My Head" and "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" is best. Ron Carter is featured on "Summertime" and the dependable Kenny Washington handles the drums with his usual taste and skill.

Track Listing: You Go to my Head, Autumn in New York, What is this Thing Called Love, Summertime, You Are Too Beautiful, If I Should Lose You, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Yardbird Suite, Baby I'm Yours, Oh You Crazy Moon, I See A Million People But All I Can See Is You, Foolishly Yours, It's Monday Everyday.

Personnel: Frank Jackson, vocals; James Williams, piano, organ, producer; Ron Carter, bass; Billy Pierce, soprano and tenor sax; Kenny Washington,drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Kasis Records, LLC | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Right Up On CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Wanderlust CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Imagination CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Evolution CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "3's a Crowd" CD/LP/Track Review 3's a Crowd
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Ears Are Filled With Wonder" CD/LP/Track Review Ears Are Filled With Wonder
by John Sharpe
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter...
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "East West Daydreams" CD/LP/Track Review East West Daydreams
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Steeped" CD/LP/Track Review Steeped
by John Eyles
Published: October 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!