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JT Track Premiere: “Path to Macondo/Those Kind of Blues” by Brian Jackson

The keyboardist/composer's first album in more than 20 years, This Is Brian Jackson, will be out May 27

Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson (photo: Christopher “Puma” Smith)

JazzTimes is honored to present the premiere of “Path to Macondo/Those Kind of Blues” by keyboardist, flutist, vocalist, and composer Brian Jackson. The track is slated to appear on Jackson’s first album as a leader in more than two decades, This Is Brian Jackson, which BBE Music will be releasing on May 27 (CD and digital; vinyl will follow on July 1). 

Written by Jackson and Daniel Collás of the Phenomenal Handclap Band (both of whom co-produced the album), the song features Jackson on Wurlitzer electric piano, flute, and a spoken-word intro vocal; Domenica Fossati on alto flute; David Lackner on EWI; Binky Brice on lead guitar and bass; Juliet Swango on rhythm guitar; Collás on drums, organ, and Minimoog; and Lucio DeColdest on congas and cowbell. 

Jackson comments: “It felt right that my first solo album in 20 years contain a bit of commentary about what got me there: the blues. Daniel Collás and I would start off almost every session with lunch at the Mexican restaurant, Los Tacos Mcondo, down the block from the studio, talking through ideas over a Modelo or two. ‘Path’ comes from a conversation we carried from there about the often misunderstood function of the iconic American art form.”

This Is Brian Jackson includes seven more tracks besides “Path to Macondo,” two of which—”Hold On” and “Little Orphan Boy”—incorporate parts recorded in 1979 with the late Malcolm Cecil and using his and Robert Margouleff’s revolutionary early analog synthesizer TONTO (The Original New Timbral Orchestra), which can also be heard on albums by Stevie Wonder, Weather Report, the Isley Brothers, and Jackson’s famous musical partner of the 1970s, Gil Scott-Heron.

Although Jackson remains best known for the music he made with Scott-Heron—they recorded nine albums together, including Pieces of a Man (1971) and Winter in America (1974)—he has also worked with a variety of other artists, from Roy Ayers and Charnett Moffett to Kool & the Gang. His 2021 collaborative album with Jazz Is Dead’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, Jazz Is Dead 8: Brian Jackson, raised his profile higher than it had been in several years, and the release of This Is Brian Jackson is a smart, and welcome, follow-up.

For more information, read JazzTimes‘ recent Overdue Ovation profile of Brian Jackson.