D.D. Jackson

I am an Emmy Award-winning composer and Juno Award-winning jazz pianist who specializes in writing, arranging, and producing memorable, custom-made music for t.v., film & other media. I consider myself an "artistic problem solver": I strive to get to the essential conceptual truth of what the client is looking for - and to express it in a creative and supportive way.

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Tribute to Don Pullen Session

Just wrapped up the "Tribute to Don Pullen" album with David Murray as the leader, and also Santi Dibriano on bass and J.T. Lewis on drums. Was a very special project because everyone involved had their own special connection with Don Pullen. J.T. Lewis was a drummer more in the pop/rock field (he had played with such artists as Sting and Prince) when Don first heard him and announced "you can play", ie. he had the potential to do some serious jazz/improvised music, and he subsequently hired J.T. for his last great band, the African-Brazilian Connection. J.T. often talks fondly of his days on the road with Don, and of the many experiences they shared together. Santi, along with drummer Cindy Blackman (who, ironically, has now gone on to do more rock-oriented gigs as the drummer with Lenny Kravitz), was one of the members of one of Don's last touring trios. And I was Don's student, having been recommended to David Murray several years ago (also see "Thoughts on Don"). My main worry with this session was that we'd end up duplicating alot of his tunes, etc., but after a collective version of Don's tune "Gratitude", my worries were erased, and we started understanding the mood of the album, which was one of reflection and inwardness. I also felt pleased to be able to contribute a couple of my own compositions, one I wrote when I was heavily under the Don Pullen influence called "Easy Alice" (named after his tune "Big Alice"), another latin number I call "Out of a Storm". The album was rounded out with a very fiery version of Butch Morris' tune "The Long Goodbye" (sort of a commenting on the struggle to live against tough odds), a quartet version of Don's "Common Ground", a duo, "loose" version of "El Matador" with myself and David, and quartet versions of Don's tunes "Richard's Tune" and "Resting on the Road". At the end of the two-day session, we were all drained not only physically, but emotionally, as well. Of course, I spent the last couple of days (while on a gig in Portugal with David's Octet), listening to the tapes, but David was already moving on to his next recording project, which begins tomorrow (!).....