Mar 18, 2022
Since the 1991 release of his debut album A Guitar Thing, featuring Benny Green, Cecil Brooks III and Lonnie Plaxico, guitarist Ron Jackson has steadily built a robust reputation as a sideman and solo artist. Standards and My Songs is his ninth title as a leader on his independent label Roni Music, the logical follow-up to his. Standards and Other Songs. The seven-string guitar player put together a topnotch trio, with Ben Wolfe on bass and Willie Jones III on drums to tackle tunes that vary from the Seventies pop one-hit wonder “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” to the Broadway standard “This Nearly was Mine” to his own compositions.
Born in 1964 in the Philippines, though mostly raised just outside of Boston, Jackson started out as a rocker, but fell deep into the jazz realm under the influence of such legends as George Benson, Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny. After studies at Berklee School of Music, Jackson lived and worked in Paris before moving to New York City and launching his high-profile jazz career.
A disciple of Bucky Pizzarelli, Ron moved to the seven-string guitar at his mentor’s urging, and has not looked back since. He’s played on dozens of albums (such as those by Ron Blake, Hal Singer, T.K. Blue) and working with such artists as Oliver Lake, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gary Bartz and Randy Weston.
Podcast 889 is my conversation with Ron, as he takes us through the technical and aesthetic virtues of the seven-string guitar, and how he uses the unique instrument to interpret old and new tunes alike. Musical selections from Standards and My Songs include “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl),” which adds organist Brian Ho to the mix, and “For Pat” which pays homage to another mentor, the late Pat Martino, and is loosely modeled after Martino’s own ballad “Country Road.”