(Jazz Is Dead)
Multi-instrumentalist Brian Jackson was a key collaborator of the late Gil Scott-Heron. Both compositionally and conceptually, Jackson helped Scott-Heron shape a musical persona that made him an underworld hero in his heyday and an icon who greatly influenced generations of hip-hop artists to come. When the team started releasing records with both of their names prominently displayed on the cover, they enjoyed quite a bit of commercial success, charting with both 1974’s Winter in America and 1976’s From South Africa to South Carolina. While Jackson might not be a household name, he is celebrated by all who revere Scott-Heron’s work, including cratedigging DJs who’ve appreciated Jackson’s memorable hooks and riffs for decades. Younge and Muhammad were certainly among his fans, and it’s no surprise that they would invite the 68-year-old Jackson to participate on their first Jazz Is Dead release, the multi-artist JID001. The three musicians co-composed the lovely “Nancy Wilson,” named for the late jazz singer, something of an icon herself. Jackson’s alto flute floats featherlike atop the insistent but not aggressive rhythms, Malachi Morehead’s drums striking just the right balance of patter and propulsion.