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The Great J. J. Jackson

August 7, 2007

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: August 7, 2007
  • Label: MDP OMP
  • Copyright: (c) 2007 One Media Publishing
  • Total Length: 32:17
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000VEOWXQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,265 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. C. Dennis on March 9, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a good album by a fine vocalist with one monster hit to his credit, "But It's Alright". Nothing else has quite the immediate or lasting impact of that one song, but the album has quite a few strong performances of decent to very good tunes, "Come See Me" among them. He's not the deepest soul stylist so it's not really useful to compare him to Otis Redding, or Wilson Pickett or most of the coterie of Memphis/Muscle Shoals artists. He leans toward uptempo, and uptown arrangements, what's called northern soul. He was born in Brooklyn, so there is quite a bit of that New York energy in his persona (plus jazz arranging credits), not to mention what recording with British jazz musicians brought to his sound. "Sho Nuff (Got a Good Thing Going") owes much to the Contours "Just a Little Misunderstanding"; "A Change is Gonna Come" is solid, if not transcendent. There's plenty to recommend this package; nice variety- ballads, novelties, dance tunes- half of them co-written by Jackson. No problems with either the sound or the material present, incomplete though it is.
My bone to pick is with producer Gordon Anderson and/or compiler Gene Sculatti. In the Amazon editorial review, as well as the reissue liner notes, it is stated that "we have combined 2 versions of the LP (Calla and Warners) to offer J.J.Jackson's 'complete Warner/Loma recordings' on one 20 track CD". Close, but not quite cigar worthy. A casual look at any random Jackson discography would have revealed 9 single releases (4 on Calla; 5 on Loma) between '66 and '68. "Further research" (the liner note's words) would have made the compilers aware that 4 songs landed on b-sides that didn't show up on either version of the LP.
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Format: Audio CD
First of all, my copy of this CD compilation has a different cover (the one with the white background and rainbow halo, which I'll also post) AND more songs. Apparently, according to the liner notes that come with this CD, two versions of this album were released. but this reissue from Collectors' Choice Music "has combined the two to offer J.J.'s complete Warner Brotherers/Loma recordings on one 20-track CD." Maybe this accounts for the other review already posted on this page, which seems to be for an 11-track version of this collection. To make things even more confusing, the back cover of this CD lists the original songs on what I assume was a vinyl copy of this collection and that album had only 10 songs on it ... and in a totally different order!

In any case, the previous reviewer had a good take on J.J. Jackson's recording output; nothing he put out was nearly as magical or memorable as the classic 1966 hit "But It's Alright" (even if that title doesn't ring a bell, I can almost guarantee that you've heard this catchy tune), and yet the other material on this compilation, while maybe not "great" qualifies as pretty darn good. The liner notes tell us that, in addition to performing, Jackson "wrote, arranged and produced dozens of songs in genres from blues and funk-jazz to girl groups and garage-punk. He's that talented." Listening to this collection, the originals that Jackson sings are the most impressive offerings, but I also like his covers of "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and "Love is a Hurting Thing."

The CD comes with a thin booklet that includes an essay about Jackson written by Gene Sculatti for this 2009 reissue (manufactured by Rhino).
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