Already possessing a very distinctive tenor sax sound, Javon Jackson's debut as a leader is an exceptional effort. Jackson, 26 at the time of the recording, joined forces with 40-year-old James Williams, 19-year-old Christian McBride and 64-year-old Elvin Jones to create a powerful musical statement that bridges the generations. "Mr. Jones" refers to the master drummer, whose presence and energy are felt throughout the recording, especially on the medium swingers "The Masquerade Is Over" and Williams' "A Certain Attitude," as well as on the title track and "Theme for Penny," two uptempo Jackson originals that begin with brief drum solos. Also making his presence felt is McBride, whose tone, time, and imagination belie his age. One of 1992's best releases.
Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson deserves a lot of credit for stretching himself on this release. Although he can sound very close to Joe Henderson at times, on this set he interprets a wide-ranging repertoire that allows him to avoid falling into the revivalist hard bop category. In addition to a pair of originals (the medium-uptempo blues "Hamlet's Favorite Son" and "Assessment" which is dedicated to Elvin Jones) ~ AllMusic
Javon (Anthony) Jackson (born June 16, 1965, Carthage, Missouri) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He played in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1987 until Blakey's death in 1990, and has also played with the Harper Brothers, Benny Green[disambiguation needed], Freddie Hubbard and Elvin Jones. In his solo career, his music has been a mix of hard bop with soul and funk influences.
…On this disc, the quartet plays nine compositions by Ellington and Strayhorn. The interpretations are dominated by the full warm tenor sound of Javon Jackson who is a fantastic young sax man, playing in the Ben Webster tradition here. He is accompanied by the great Mr. Hazeltine, who is the musical director of the record and plays some nice solos, too. Bass and drums are played skilfully, relaxed and with deep feeling by the other two perfect sidemen. Very pleasing and relaxed, that`s the mood of the record, that every jazz fan will like.
The 1988 edition of The Jazz Messengers, which drummer Art Blakey had been leading for 33 years, showed a great deal of promise. Comprised of trumpeter Philip Harper (soon to form The Harper Brothers), trombonist Robin Eubanks, the tenor of Javon Jackson, pianist Benny Green and bassist Peter Washington, this band (whose average age without counting Blakey was around 25) performs one original apiece by Green and Jackson along with five older songs on this enjoyable release. The music may not have contained too many surprises or been startlingly new, but the results are quite pleasing.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. One of Art Blakey's final recordings as a leader features two separate pianists (Benny Green and Mulgrew Miller) and two bassists (Leon Lee Dorsey and Lonnie Plaxico) taking part, along with the guest appearance of former Jazz Messenger Freddie Hubbard. Blakey was going deaf near the end of his life and sounds a tad tentative at times, while Hubbard's return may have been more to improve his chops (which had been in question after his experiments with fusion). The trumpeter seems rejuvenated by working with his former boss and his latest crop of Young Lions, who also include tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson.