From Strata East to Kanye West, from straight-ahead jazz to straight-out funk, Brian Jackson is a true American legend. Listen to the more than a dozen albums he co-wrote and produced with longtime partner Gil Scott-Heron and you are bound to have many 'where have I heard that before?' moments. That's because so many of his licks and riffs have been sampled - and continue to be sampled by - hip-hop aristocracy. Check his trademark Rhodes sound providing the groove foundations for cuts like Kanye's Home Again and Common's The People, which features Brian's signature synth lines from We Almost Lost Detroit, and you'll understand that his musical vision was decades ahead of its time. Maybe that's the reason that when you hear him play it's like something you've heard all your life.
A master of the keyboard, Brian's style is instantly recognizable. Yet, listen to him sing and you'll wonder why it took him so long to let the world hear his voice.
I had to let the soul ripen it, he simply states.
After over 35 years of creativity, Brian can still be found building musical alliances. His latest collaboration, Legba's Light, the brainchild of producer-DJ Kentyah Fraser, features music composed and arranged with bassist Ron Carter (Miles Davis Quintet), drummer Mike Clark (Herbie Hancock, Headhunters), Brazilian percussionist Airto (Miles Davis, Return to Forever), and Wu-Tang officer Killah Priest, continues along those lines. Brian continues to actively encourage contact with younger, less-established artists as well. His band, consisting of young phenoms Diallo House (bass), Ismail Lawal (drums) and saxophonist Stacey Dillard proves that this policy yields big dividends.