This CD only has one fault, but it is a major one. It seems that no matter what he plays (whether it be an obscure song by Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, or Antonio Carlos Jobim, or one of his two originals), Javon Jackson sounds too close to comfort to Joe Henderson; in fact there are times when the tenor-saxophonist sounds identical.
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.