Javon Jackson was raised in Denver, Colorado and chose saxophone at the age of 10. At age 16 he switched from alto to tenor and later enrolled at the University of Denver before spending part of 1985–86 at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He left Berklee in 1986 to join Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he later played alongside pianist Benny Green, trumpeter Philip Harper, trombonist Robin Eubanks & bassist Peter Washington. Mr. Jackson remained a fixture in the Jazz Messengers until Blakey’s passing in 1990. In 1991, Javon made his recording debut with Me and Mr. Jones, FT. James Williams, Christian McBride, & master drummer Elvin Jones. He joined Jones’ group in 1992, appearing on the great drummer’s albums Youngblood & Going Home. His 1994 Blue Note debut, When the Time Is Right, was a straight-ahead affair produced by iconic jazz vocalist/bandleader Betty Carter. His subsequent 4 recordings for the Blue Note label through the ‘90s were produced by Craig Street and featured wildly eclectic programs ranging from Caetano Veloso, Frank Zappa & Santana to Muddy Waters, Al Green & Serge Gainsbourg. His subsequent 4 recordings for the Palmetto label had him exploring a blend of funk, jazz & soul with such stellar sidemen as organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, guitarists Mark Whitfield & David Gilmore, trombonist Fred Wesley and drummer Lenny White. In 2012, Javon released a potent tribute to a towering influence, Celebrating John Coltrane, his inaugural release on his Solid Jackson Records which featured the venerable drummer and former Coltrane collaborator Jimmy Cobb. He followed later in 2012 with Lucky 13, which featured the great soul-jazz keyboardist Les McCann and included a mellow instrumental rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing along with a version of McCann’s 1969 hit, Compared to What. That same remarkably productive year, Jackson was the recipient of the prestigious Benny Golson Award from Howard University in Washington, D.C. for recognition of excellence in jazz. Jackson’s debut on the Smoke Sessions label, 2014’s Expression, was a live quartet recording from the Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in Upper Manhattan. On February 18, 2022, Javon released, The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni, his 5th album for his Solid Jackson Records label.
Along comes 2023, and it is now time for the With Peter Bradley Soundtrack & Original Score via Solid Jackson Records. The record features Jackson’s stellar quartet with pianist Jeremy Manasia, bassist David Williams & drummers McClenty Hunter or Charles Goold, with guest trumpeter Greg Glassman. Jackson’s gift for musical portraiture is evident in the score, which nods to some of Bradley’s favorite jazz icons – including Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Jackson’s former employer, Art Blakey – while vibrantly capturing the moods and personalities of the film and its subject. I had the opportunity to catch up with friend of the proGram, Mr. Javon Jackson to dive into this new release. With the Peter Bradley Soundtrack & Original Score, we find the acclaimed sax-man composing his first original film score for this art world documentary that he has a close relationship with. We find out how Art Blakey introduced Javon to abstract artist Peter Bradley and they’ve been friends ever since. of course, when he was asked to compose an original musical score for the documentary, he was honored and inspired. We get deep into the process of making this score/album, the relationships between the film and the music and the stories of the people it tells. We get really in depth on the man behind the film as it paints an image of the man behind the ideas. After catching the documentary finally, I can say that the stories the music tells, certainly seems to jive with the style of rhythms & inspirations that an outsider like me miGht think Mr. Bradley enjoys walking to. I am honored to be a part of spreading these conversations with all forms of art that speak to me. Another cool part is how we will figure out how t get Javon back to Madison to hanG with his pal MISTER Richard Davis, play a show and get a chill in with ‘Doc” G.