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Having been tutored in Art Blakey's school of hard bop, it comes as no surprise that Javon Jackson's first albums as a leader were steeped in that idiom. Pleasant Valley, his fifth effort for Blue Note, departs slightly from the hard bop genre and heads into "grooveland." Working with guitarist Dave Stryker, organist Larry Goldings and drummer Billy Drummond, Pleasant Valley recalls the soul-jazz of many a classic organ combo. Unexpectedly, the CD opens with a rather low-key rendition of Ellington's serene ballad Sun Swept Sunday, but the pace quickly picks up with Jackson's original title tune. Complete with Goldings' swirling organ sounds, Stryker's wah-wah guitar and Drummond's muscular rhythms, it's a curious blend of bop and psychedelia. Sounding less like Joe Henderson and more like Gene Ammons, Jackson interprets a couple of pop tunes including Stevie Wonder's Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing and Al Green's classic Love And Happiness. While these covers may garner Jackson some "smooth jazz" airplay, they do little to test his considerable talents. ***
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com