|NOW features Greg Hutchinson, drums; Kenny Davis, bass; David Gilmore, guitar; Lisa Fischer, vocals; and Dr. Lonnie Smith, Hammond B-3 organ and is a fun and melodic mix of challenging and engaging music. Javon comments: “I want to make my audience feel the way I feel when I’m playing with this band… we’re having a great time!”
Javon contributes three originals including “South Side Eddie,” “Richard’s R.A.P.,” and “In the Sticks.” “South Side Eddie” is inspired by the great saxophonist Eddie Harris and his ability to write catchy funky songs. Javon learned a lot of life lessons from jazz bassist Richard Davis and “Richard’s R.A.P.” is a dedication to him. “In the Sticks” is a loving ode to the country side. NOW also features tunes that were recorded by Donny Hathaway/Roberta Flack, Kenny Garrett, and James Brown, plus more.
Javon Jackson was raised in Denver, Colorado and through his parents’ music collection was exposed to some of the greatest musicians in jazz. Jackson’s early influences included Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt. After high school, Jackson briefly attended the University of Denver and then transferred to the Berklee College of Music. At Berklee, Jackson met Donald Brown, instructor at Berklee as well as pianist for Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. During Jackson’s studies at Berklee, Brown arranged for him to sit in with the legendary drummer at a New York jazz club. Mr. Blakey liked what he heard from Jackson and offered him the tenor saxophone position with the Jazz Messengers. Jackson gladly accepted and began his professional career on the national and international stage. During his tenure as a Jazz Messenger, Jackson recorded and toured along side fellow Jazz Messengers Kenny Garrett, Wallace Roney, Donald Harrison and Benny Green.
Remaining with Blakey until his untimely death, Jackson went on to tour and record with many jazz luminaries including Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter and Charlie Haden. In all, Jackson has an impressive discography of over 100 recordings.
As a leader, Javon has recorded for the Criss Cross, Blue Note and Palmetto labels. His debut recording Me and Mr. Jones, on the Criss Cross label, featured the incomparable drummer Elvin Jones and received rave reviews from jazz critics. As a Blue Note recording artist, Jackson’s CD When the Time Is Right was produced by the one and only jazz vocalist Betty Carter and featured Dianne Reeves as guest vocalist. While recording for Blue Note, Jackson began to cover material from a wide range of musical styles. Quoting Jackson, “Craig Street, my producer for four Blue Note recordings, helped me greatly with looking at different music genres for material.” Jackson has recorded the music of Frank Zappa, Carlos Santana, Carlos Jobim, Stevie Wonder, Muddy Water and others.