As a member of drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson learned what it takes to create good music. One of the most influential teachers for several generations, Blakey stressed the importance of finding your groove and sticking to it. He demanded that each of his Messengers step up and take the bull by the horns in order to remain strong. The formula worked wonders for successive Jazz Messengers from the 1950s until Blakey's passing in October 1990. Since then, Jackson has gone on to lead his own bands and to carve his own niche in a mainstream world where everybody needs to feel comfortable with his own voice.
Enlisting the support of organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and guitarist David Gilmore, Jackson takes Now through a powerful R&B groove that recalls the heyday of the guitar/organ combo made famous in the 1960s. Jackson updates the traditional sound, however, with several originals, several pop songs, and some funk. His big tenor washes over the soulful sound of his quintet with a sultry façade that boils over from within. Jackson has always been a master of restraint. He churns with emotion, but makes sure that things remain comfortable and fixed in their groove. Along with guitar and organ, his soulful tenor wraps the room in smoke while providing plenty of fun along the way. wraps the room in smoke while providing plenty of fun along the way.
Track Listing: In the Sticks; Chief Blackwater; Love Calls; South Side Eddie; Where is the Love; Richard
Personnel: Javon Jackson: tenor saxophone; David Gilmore: electric guitar; Kenny Davis: electric bass; Greg Hutchinson: drums; Dr. Lonnie Smith: organ; Lisa Fischer: vocals (3, 5, 8).