Yesterday and today I was back to work at my regular job. Because I spent the day performing soil borings, logging the borings and collecting soil samples for permeability testing,(sounds like fun doesn’t it!) the work did not lend itself to music listening. Today’s work the laboratory permeability testing was suited for music listening. The best music for that type of work is jazz or New Age. So I started off with the album that was # 5 on the JazzWeek Chart- Expression by Javon Jackson. Dare I say, that I do not know Javon Jackson? Oops, I guess I just did! A quick read of Javon’s biography at his website reveals that he is a tenor saxophone player who rose to prominence as a member of the last version of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. In addition to his work with that group Jackson has also appeared 125 recordings and toured with Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, Donald Byrd, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Richard Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, Curtis Fuller and Stanley Turrentine. That’s some pretty good company – don’t you think!
Expression is Jackson’s 14th album he has released as a leader of the Javon Jackson Band which includes a trio of young and upcoming musicians Orrin Evans (piano), Corcoran Holt (bass), and McClenty Hunter (drums) The album released on the Smoke Session label was recorded at New York’s Smoke Jazz Club and is Jackson’s first live album!
Expression is serious jazz music at its accessible best. Javon and company rework Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing,” Donnie Hathaway and Roberta Flack’s “Where is the Love,” and Nat Cole’s “When I Fall in Love.” Track after track, this set delivers with songs like George Cable’s ’70s classic “Think on Me,” Wayne Shorter’s “One by One,” as well as several memorable Jackson originals. It’s a record you’ll return to again and again. – New York City Jazz Record (February 2014)
Now since I was actually concentrating on my testing I have not yet given the album the total attention that it should be given, but based on what I heard, I will certainly be doing that – and you should too!! Here’s one more quote before we listen to some music. From the Philadelphia Inquirer…..
“Saxophonist Javon Jackson plays funk with a slow hand…[he] doesn’t beat matters to a froth but allows them to come to fruition in their own time. This approach to groove calls for the clear arrangements that focus the senses nicely on Jackson’s titillating tenor and Dr. Lonnie Smith’s snaky organ…A good funkin’ time is had by all.” — Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer
Now I couldn’t find a video any of the music from Expression so let’ listen to the opening track Wayne Shorter’s “One by One”, which made its first appearance on Art Blakey’s live album Ugetsu, recorded at Birdland 50 years ago!!