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Born in Canada and now based in New York, thirty-two year old pianist D.D. Jackson has been receiving much critical praise as the “good” word seems to be getting around rather quickly... And deservedly so! After spending some quality time with saxophonist David Murray, drummer Andrew Cyrille and many other jazz notables, Jackson is literally a star who has risen. On ...So Far the young pianist performs a strong mix of self-penned compositions along with a few jazz classics that are dedicated to some of his mentors or inspiring forces whether Debussy, Ornette Coleman, Bud Powell or Horowitz.
Jackson’s execution as a modern jazz stylist draws upon some influence from one of his mentor’s, the late pianist Don Pullen for his melding of furious free-style, percussive single note lines and elegant harmonies and choruses. However, Jackson does possess remarkable technique and a deeply personalized delivery, as the pianist displays pinpoint accuracy during feverish displays of left-right hand coordination, flailing arpeggios, classical mannerisms and huge block chords, which is evident on the piece dedicated to Vladimir Horowitz titled, “Round and Round”. Jackson’s dedication to Bop legend Bud Powell surfaces on “Poco-Loco-Moco” which of course mimics Powell’s Bop classic “Un Poco Loco”. Here, Jackson puts it into overdrive as he commingles amazingly quick Art Tatum-ish style chord clusters with rapid single note right hand leads. Jackson elicits sweet tenderness on the piece dedicated to Duke Ellington titled, “Come Sunday” as you can feel the softness and compassion. On “Suite for New York”, Jackson is near flawless as he conveys a bevy of mood evoking themes while blending modern ideas, shapes and forms with a fair amount of traditionalism!
Jackson creates an air of suspense featuring complex voicings and a strong dose of swing with his tribute to pianist John Hicks, aptly titled, “Waltz for Mr. Hicks”. Suffice to say, D.D. Jackson provides the winning formula as ...So Far is a liturgy of sorts for modern day jazz pianists. If you think you’ve already heard the best, think again.....as ...So Far showcases the mighty talents of Jackson who possesses a seemingly insatiable thirst for perfection while the listener jumps along for this very special and most enduring ride...........* * * * ½