7 String jazz guitar splendor…
Ron Jackson – Standards and My Songs – Roni Music # RM7122LP – stereo vinyl – ****
(Ron Jackson – 7 string Eastman electric guitar; Ben Wolfe – bass; Willie Jones III – drums; Brian Ho – Hammond organ on “Brandy” and “The Secret Garden”; Clark Gayton – trombone on “Roundabout”)
As a sequel to his 2019 release, Standards and Other Songs, jazz guitarist, Ron Jackson, has followed up with a winning release (his sixth album on his own label, Roni Music.)
Titled, Standards and My Own Songs, Jackson has five originals paired with four other varied tracks.
Ron plays a 7 string electric guitar, (six traditional guitar strings plus an additional second “A” string). It extends the guitar’s range, without changing the tuning. Jackson is noted for his soulful playing and fleet fingered prowess. It is in full evidence here in a trio, backed by veterans, Ben Wolfe on bass, and Willie Jones III, on the drum kit. Ron arranged and produced this release.
The list of standards has a Quincy Jones track, as well as Charlie Parker’s bop classic, “Moose the Mooche.” Jackson brings to life, in a jazz vein, the pop hit, “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl.”) His version “jazzifies” this saccharine tune, and the addition of a Hammond organ certainly adds a nice dimension. You won’t be embarrassed to tap your toes.
A visit to the tropics is found on “Roundabout,” with a calypso vibe provided by trombonist, Clark Gayton. Charlie Parker’s bop classic, “Moose the Mooche” has drummer Jones pushing the tempo, as well as a great walking bass solo by Ben Wolfe.
Two other winners are “From Dusk to Dawn,” inspired by Freddie Hubbard, as well as my favorite track, Quincy Jones’ “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite).” Again, the Hammond organ increases the soul quotient.
“She is Soul” is a gorgeous ballad written by Jackson and his wife, Michelle Etwaroo. The album closes with “For Pat,” a very tender to the late jazz guitar icon, Pat Martino.
There is much to love here, as Ron Jackson provides clean vibrant guitar runs, backed by symbiotic accompaniment from veteran trio mates, all in a very soulful package.
Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) 4:39
Moose the Mooche 5:12
From Dusk to Dawn 7:06
Walk Fast 3:48
The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite) 5:12
Will You Still Be Mine? 3:42
She is Love 4:50
For Pat 4:10
More info at artists website: Ron Jackson