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Monday October 20, 2014
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D. D. Jackson

 

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obvious knowledge of the full spectrum of musical history, from Bach to Cecil Taylor. But he also knows how to swing and how to move an audience. At Manhattan he had the good fortune to study with Jaki Byard, who synthesized the whole jazz piano tradition into a strong personal style. Jackson also learned from another great modernist pianist, Don Pullen. Byard and Pullen obviously provided models for creating a personal musical voice out of an eclectic blend of traditional influences.

When Jackson first began to attract public attention, it appeared that he had learned his lessons too well, for the influence of Pullen loomed large in his playing. With time, Jackson overcame these mannerisms and moved on in his own way, although he never forgets to tip his hat to his mentor, spicing his improvisations with recognizable Pullenisms. His remarkable progress is documented in some excellent recordings that he has made over the years under his own name and as a sideman to saxophonist David Murray.

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