Friday, 24 August 2018

Ronald Shannon Jackson ‎– Red Warrior (1990)

Style: Jazz-Rock, Avantgarde
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Axiom

1.   Ashes
2.   Red Warrior
3.   Gate To Heaven
4.   In Every Face
5.   Elders
6.   What's Not Said

Bass – Conrad Mathieu, Ramon Pooser
Drums – Ronald Shannon Jackson
Guitar – Jack DeSalvo, Jef Lee Johnson, Stevie Salas
Written By – Ronald Shannon Jackson
Producer – Bill Laswell, Ronald Shannon Jackson
Recorded By – Jason Corsaro, Robert Musso

Forsaking the keyboard and saxophone lineups of many of his Decoding Society bands, composer/drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson uses a three-guitar and two-bass group on Red Warrior, creating a dense musical backdrop for his inspired arrangements. The "stripped down" band configuration is reflected in the loose, jam session feel of the record, which, unlike the earlier, more sonically varied album Decode Yourself, includes a good number of blues-based tracks ("Ashes," "Gates to Heaven," and "In Every Face"). This is not to say Red Warrior is a straightforward record, by any means. As is Jackson's inclination, the mix is expanded with plenty of jazz improvisation, weaves of effects-riddled guitar lines, complex head statements, and, of course, the drummer's pan-stylistic rhythmic support. The album also contains a variety of material, including the "Mahavishnu Orchestra meets Dr. John," New Orleans shuffle blues "Red Warrior" and the sprawling, free-form "Elders." Excellent contributions are made by the entire band, which includes guitarists Jef Lee Johnson, Steve Salas, and Jack DeSalvo and bassists Ramon Pooser and Conrad Mathieu. Red Warrior is just one of several, very impressive releases to be put out in the last two decades by Jackson, who, like contemporary composer Henry Threadgill, has unforgivably been overlooked and unsung all these years.
 Stephen Cook / AllMusic

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