Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

D.D. Jackson: Serenity Song

D.D. Jackson has his advocates in the jazz journalism community. I find his piano playing exhausting and annoying. He is in love with grandiloquence. His playing is filled with empty gestures: leaps across the keyboard from crashing bass to clanging treble; impulsive fidgeting runs; block chords like body blows; melodramatic flourishes. A pianistic approach so overbearing requires technical facility, but Jackson’s elaborate decorations sound extraneous (the title track), and his crises of nervous energy (“Etude,” “Three Shades Of Mingus”) sound self-conscious.

He does write pleasant, well-crafted (if thematically conventional) tunes, and employs interesting musicians in unusual instrumental configurations to play them. The core trio here has Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Dafnis Prieto on drums, to which Jackson adds varying combinations of Sam Newsome on soprano saxophone, Christian Howes on electric and acoustic violins and bass violin, and Dana Leong on trombone and cello.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published