[8/4/2006] - Buffalo News review of Serenity Song
Review: 3 1/2 stars (Out of 4)
The title of D.D. Jackson's new disc is a bit of a hopeful misnomer, as any listener of the extraordinary 39-year-old jazz pianist well knows. You're not going to find 64 minutes of music on any disc whatsoever in Jackson's name without a good, healthy controlled swatch of tone clusters and splatter piano. He's in the Jaki Byard/Don Pullen line of jazz pianists, which means that no matter how much Jackson might want to make a "tuneful and conceptually truly open" disc of music devoted to his marital bliss with wife Elizabeth, there will be moments when Cecil Taylor's way of detonating the piano's percussive explosions can't help coming to the fore.
And it also means that a saxophonist as fine as Sam Newsome is going to follow suit and play terrific inside/outside games with the chord changes of Jackson's tunes. There's a lot of fine music on "Serenity Song," much of it as lovely and suggestive of connubial bliss as Jackson wanted it to be. But that doesn't mean he'll ignore the rest of what made him what he is -- Byard's and Pullen's employer Charles Mingus, collaborations with Taiwanese violinists and Cuban drummers, enough political concern to dedicate one song to the memory of Hurricane Katrina victims. He's one of the great jazz pianists in a crowded current field.
- Buffalo News, 4 August 2006