[3/2/2004] - Jazz Journalists International review of Suite for New York
Jackson’s ambitious suite of music for the ‘heroism and resilience of New Yorkers,’ is a bold, often sprawling musical canvas utilising his own and the solo talents of Spaulding, Turner, Walsh and Mott. Turner has a plaintive and very emotive solo segment beginning Second Invocation and Spaulding is bitter sweet in his measured alto solo on Hopes And Dreams, but the leader’s piano is equally compelling and affecting. So far, so good, the solos are all laced with sympathetic interjections from the strings and rhythm section and the entire structure is easy to follow. Hopes and Dreams: Main Section and Conclusion is a fierce and passionately played seven minutes of ensemble and solo music. Jackson’s intense keyboard clusters heighten the intensity and helps keep the rhythm section on their toes. BQE features blistering alto from Spaulding and similarly white hot solo exchanges between Turner, Jackson and Prieto on drums. The gentle Brooklyn Lullaby provides a complete contrast with soft, sweet, melodic violin and an attractive theme statement carried mainly by the bass player.
Most moving and reaching a new level of intensity is the final invocation Towers Of Light, a heartfelt requiem for the events of September 11, 2001. Written, arranged and conducted by Jackson, this is a powerful piece of contemporary jazz which should be on all serious collectors shelves.
- Derek Ansell, Jazz Journalists International