Ron Jackson – Flubby Dubby – Roni Music – RM0700, 61:55 ****:
(Ron Jackson – guitar; Kyle Koeler – organ; Otis Brown III – drums; Don Braden – tenor sax; Bruce Williams – alto sax on tracks 3/5)
Ron Jackson is one of those bright bop guitarists who has seemed to escape notice in the wider jazz community despite having recorded five albums previous to this one. In fact, this project was originally released in 2008 with the same tunes, but with a slightly different track configuration. Perhaps this version of Flubby Dubby will generate the attention it deserves.
Recorded live at Cecil’s Jazz Club, West Orange New Jersey, the disc leads off with two swingers “One For Melvin” and “The Look Of You”. Both the offerings reveal the liveliness that the group brought to the club date, the strength of the interplay between the guitar and organ, with some excellent drum breaks by Otis Brown III on the latter tune. Don Braden on tenor and Bruce Williams on alto have been added to “The Long And Winding Road” and “Love Ballad”. While on the former they are simply further voicing’s to a very melodic interpretation of the Lennon/McCartney classic, they certainly earn their keep with first-rate blistering solos on the other cut which is anything but a ballad. Skip Scarborough’s r&b hit is delivered in tough fashion, with Jackson’s guitar slashing through the tune with deftness, with some Wes Montgomery-like licks thrown-in.
The title track “Flubby Dubby” is pure funk get-up-and-go in which all members of the band jump on with abandon. ”Stars Fell On Alabama” is done in true southern fashion with Jackson’s guitar in a tender, smooth style and Koeler’s Hammond B-3 playing adding some sparkle. As for the tunes on the balance of the disc, the most compelling take is “Get In The Country” which is an energetic improvisational number that has Jackson and Koeler in duelling solos which is a fitting end to the disc.
Ron Jackson is a top of the line guitarist who deserves more recognition and hopefully this updated release will provide the impetus to produce this acknowledgement.
TrackList: One For Melvin; The Look Of You; The Long And Winding Road; Flubby Dubby; Love Ballad; Stars Fell On Alabama; Technophile; A Calypso Party; Get In The Country
—Pierre Giroux