Brian Jackson

gotta play

The musical history of Brian Jackson is closely bounded with the musical career of Gil Scott Heron. You can find Brian as a longtime collaborator (piano and synthesizer) on many albums of this great artist. Who doesn't remember  famous songs like The Bottle  or Johannesburg? Because of his diverse musical tastes, Brian has collaborated with artists like Kool and the Gang, George Benson, Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer or Will Downing. He did also keyboard seessions with Earth, Wind and Fire and Stevie Wonder.

His connection to Smooth Jazz appears on albums like Herb Alpert 's Second Wind (1996), Boney James' Trust (1992) or Rodney Franklin's Love Dancing (1992).

Sharing the fate of many booked full sidemen he had released only a few solo-projects over the years. It's Your World (1976) and Secrets (1978) are to recall. 

Brian comments: "Although i was involved in it's your world (i penned the title track) and in secrets, it was in collaboration with gil scott-heron. In fact, the album covers include both of our names, as in most of our other 70's albums. Therefore, it is correct to state that gotta play is my first solo project."

 Gotta Play is Brian's impetus and the title of his newest album.

A short rhythm intro is introducing to the main title Gotta Play. Keyboard and piano find the first intonation and are leading to Roy Ayers' scatting vybes. A waving basssupported ground  melody is overdubbed with picks of melody, rhythms, sax and trumpets solos.

Kama Sutra, the Indian love book, is new interpretated with a mix of Indian and Brazilian flavor, followed by Brian's wild Fusion Jazz piano solo exploding into Mullen's sax solo, til the song smoothes out in a recitation of the title.

After a short interlude follows Moody Too. Brian 's journey into Smooth Jazz. Soft keyboard cadences with a frequent use of modulation bender let experience new sensitivity. David Mullen 's tenor sax adds a short break.

Feelin U shows up Num Amun'tehu's unique vocals in the tradition of Bob Marley. David Mullen 's tenor sax solos in between skillfully.

Free 4 Fall gives you the opportunity to forget your sorrows falling into a relaxing mood. Brian 's excellent piano runnings well-accompanied by keyboard-sounds and Pat Metheny-like ghost-vocals brighten up your mood.

Parallel Lean/Home is Where the Hatred Is could be a Gil Scott-Heron tune. Brian 's song is accompanied by Gil's deep rough rap.

Yada Yada is a Latin flavored tune with Brian's jazzy piano solo part. You can compare it to Bill Sharpe's Latin influenced piano tunes.  

Outstanding drives you into the heart of Funk. A cover version of one of the greatest hits the GAP Band (Gap Band IV, 1982) ever had.

Deelushuss gets a thumb up, wonderful keyboard and piano melody-bows with a stylish ease. Immaculately Trevor Holder's drum-technic.

Num's interlude is an extensive percussion tune with a  touch of deep Asia. 

Fresca Girl is another scatting tune. A bit of Fusion Jazz, a thick bass served by bassist Don Martin and Brian's fantastic rapid scale passages clarifies that the own pieces are always the best.

The album finishs with a long version of Feelin U.

Brian found the ideal fusion of Jazz and R&B. His mixture of Contemporary Jazz and Funk satisfies the spirit of the fastidious and reaches the heart of the Pop-Youth.





The musicians:
  • Brian Jackson - Piano, Synthesizers, Flute, Lead Vocal, Background Vocals
  • Don Martin - Bass
  • Trevor Holder - Drums
  • Num Amun'tehu - Percussion, Hand Drums, Lead Vocals
  • David Mullen  - Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax
  • Eric Barret - Guitar
  • Roy Ayers - Vibraphone, Scat-a vibes
  • Gil Scott-Heron - Rainy Rap On
  • Tristan Leral - Muted Synth
  • Soyini Assata Grant - Background Vocals
  • Hugz/Flambay - Synth Programming


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