Monday, November 17, 2008

Michael Gregory Jackson: Gifts (LP rip, 1979)

This is the kind of wonderful music that often resulted back in the day when big record companies were sometimes tolerant enough to hand over the reins to people who actually liked music more than money. For Jackson's major-label debut, he gathered some major-league improvisers and produced a record that was bright and beautiful and even accessible enough at points to have appealed to anyone. It's a record to fall in love with, memorable and achingly sweet without a trace of sentimentality. His subsequent Arista release was disappointing if I recall, with too many concessions to contemporary R&B (many of us called it "disco" in those days). He no longer plays anything you could fairly characterize as jazz, although what you can hear of it on his myspace page is pleasant enough.

Michael Gregory Jackson: guitars, percussion, voice, organ, gong
Pheeroan Ak Laff: drums
Marty Ehrlich: flute, soprano, alto, bass clarinet
Fred Hopkins: bass
Jay Hoggard: vibraphone
Jerome Harris: bass
Baikida Carroll: trumpet, flugelhorn

1/ Unspoken Magic 5:27
2/ Dyami Emu 5:43
3/ Vivid Violet 3:45
4/ Theme For In Eyes 8:33
5/ Sir Julius Of Woodstock 7:00
6/ Gifts 15:25

Produced by Michael Gregory Jackson
256 kbps LP rip
No recording date or info listed in notes. Recorded NYC. Released 1979 as Novus/Arista AN3012, unavailable on CD.


Festoonic said...

il angelo said...

Thanks, I have fond memories of what he did in Oliver Lake's Zaki.

corvimax said...

yes, this is the music that make life better.thank you so much festonic

lc said...

'currently listening to it and well nice very nice thank you so much for sharing it festoonic.

bombshelter slim said...

Jeez, I didn't even know this existed. I would quibble a little on the merits of Michael's subsequent release "Heart & Center", yeah it was more "pop" oriented, but no less valuable.

drhotte said...

Hi Festoonic,

are you interested in a contribution of Oliver Lake's Arista Recording Shine! with Michael Gregory Jackson.

I would rip it from my lp.


dka said...

Your cover confused me for a minute as it's from Jacksons Karmonic Suite. But yes Gifts was a great album. I particularly liked the two longer tracks on side two. I was not quite so keen on Heart & Center either although I haven't heard it in years. I have another of his LP's after this which was released on Enja, but it is mainly acoustic from memory.

E S said...

How great it is to hear this music again ! It seems like centuries (well it's been decades). I still have my vinyl (haven't lost this one !) but it's great to have it on CD. DKA is correct: the cover up above id s from "Karmonic Suite" another recording that opened up my spirit years ago, although not as much as "Gifts"…

E man

Art Simon said...

Thanks! Great post!

If anyone is interested, I've put Heart & Center up at my blog


Morris said...

Awesome album. Thanks a lot for sharing.

axl from MPLS said...

Love this album - download only had side one - does anyone have side 2?

Rick said...

i like beautiful and intelligent jazz guitar - sounds like this one is worth my attention. thank you

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I've dug this album for years now, and I would have bought it on CD immediately if it had ever become available. To this day, I've never heard anything quite like it from a guitar player. MGJ is on a different path now, it seems, which is cool, but I would have loved to hear him play today with the likes of Dave Douglas and Ben Allison.

isis apple said...

Such beautiful music!!!
Thank you very much!