Javon Jackson: For You by George W. Harris • January 17, 2019 • One of today’s most reliable big-toned tenor saxists, Javon Jackson has been a sideman for the likes of Curtis Fuller, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard and Cedar Walton, always giving impressively rich work. Here, he leads a quartet with Jeremy Minasia/p, David Williams/b and McClenty Hunter/dr, mixing originals with material form his late boss Walton. Of the latter. “Holy Land” includes a rich Minasia intro before Jackson gets Middle Eastern in harmonics, and “Simple Pleasures” is as delightful a bopper as you could ask for, with crisp drum support. Ditto for Wayne Shorter’s “Backstage Sally,” and obscure one from the Jazz Messengers which is a bluesy swinger and the galloping “Native Son” by David Williams has bass and drums sprinting to the finish line.Jackson’s own “Mr. Sanders” is a modal tribute to the avant garde leader, and “Lelia” has the saxist sighing to Minasia’s contemplative piano. This guy has the heart of a Blue Note hard bopper, and you just can’t resist it. www.javonjackson.com

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