All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

212

Javon Jackson: Now

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Audiences who first came to know Javon Jackson through his recordings for Criss Cross and Blue Note shouldn't be the least bit surprised when the Joe Henderson-inspired tenor saxophonist, who first came to prominence with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, releases a commercially conscious disc like Now. As with his previous efforts for Palmetto Records, 2003's Easy Does It and 2005's Have You Heard, Now focuses on listener-friendly grooves while emphasizing the strengths of the top-tier musicians involved.

From the opening rocked-out grind of "In the Sticks" to the mellow Brazilian vibe of the closing "I Remember You," Jackson applies his robust sound to emphasize every note with a distinctive blend of edginess and clarity. On "Love Calls" and "Where is the Love," Jackson relies on a leaner approach with Grover Washington Jr. overtones. The latter, a duet with vocalist Lisa Fischer on the classic R&B hit finds the saxophonist emulating Donny Hathaway's sultry vocal style to match Fischer's stunning take on Roberta Flack.

As a composer Jackson has a penchant for simplified melodies and forms with hooks that are predictable, yet wonderfully infectious. His three contributions to the session, "In the Sticks," "South Side Eddie" and "Richard's R.A.P." are intriguing and energetic.

Eclectic guitarist David Gilmore is an essential component to the diverse nature of Now. It's inspiring to hear a guitarist jump from one genre to another in such a personalized manner. The influences of guitar masters such as George Benson and Mike Stern seem to meld together naturally to form a sound that is uniquely Gilmore.

Hammond organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith brings an element of sophistication and grease to the disc. The Turbanator is characteristically tasteful on "In the Sticks," "South Side Eddie" and "I Remember You."

The insatiable rhythm duo of Kenny Davis on electric bass and Greg Hutchinson on drums intensifies each groove to inspired heights. Davis, who appeared on Jackson's previous Palmetto releases, creates a heavy thumping rumble on "Fun Time." Hutchinson, best known for his straight approach with Ray Brown and others, proves himself a bona fide funk master.

Perhaps most convincing about Now is the unbridled fun that Jackson and his cohorts seem to be having. While some elements of the music are overly contrived, the open interplay and engaging performances make for an enjoyable listen.


Track Listing: In the Sticks; Chief Blackwater; Love Calls; South Side Eddie; Where Is The Love; Richard's R.A.P.; Fun Time; Give It Up, Turn It Loose; I Remember You.

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).

Title: Now | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Live Reviews
My Blue Note Obsession
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Now

Now

Palmetto Records
2007

buy
Have You Heard

Have You Heard

Palmetto Records
2005

buy
Easy Does It

Easy Does It

Palmetto Records
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read The Gravity Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Gravity Project
by Gareth Thompson
Published: October 23, 2018
Read Experiments on Human Subjects CD/LP/Track Review
Experiments on Human Subjects
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2018
Read Street Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Street Scene
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: October 23, 2018
Read In Common CD/LP/Track Review
In Common
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 23, 2018
Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Chris May
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Remember Love CD/LP/Track Review
Remember Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 22, 2018
Read "Cubist" CD/LP/Track Review Cubist
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984" CD/LP/Track Review J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984
by Chris May
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Planktonic Finales" CD/LP/Track Review Planktonic Finales
by John Sharpe
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "Whispers on the Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "In The Blue Light" CD/LP/Track Review In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Halbtraume" CD/LP/Track Review Halbtraume
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 29, 2018