On my birthday, february 28th, I received a very special present. My present came from Tokyo, spending one week in Groningen (NL) at the Prins Claus Conservatory, where he blessed students with his artistic and very warm human nature as a part of the program “New York comes to Groningen”, iniated by Joris Teepe. On my birthday I had the huge honor to interview rhythm specialist Gene Jackson, born in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (US).
Gene Jackson studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and became there a roommate with first Branford Marsalis and later with Marvin 'Smitty' Smith! Terri Lynn Carrington recommended him to Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, and he became a member of the Herbie Hancock /Wayne Shorter Quartet and stayed playing with Herbie Hancock in various settings from 1993 until 2000 in the drummer's chair. This group pushed the boundaries of the traditional jazz trio. In our one-hour talk we talked about his early career, his life in Brooklyn and Tokyo. We talked about drums, rhythm, cymbals, time and percussion. Another very beautiful station in his career is his collaboration in the New York Standards Quartet, with David Berkman on piano, Tim Armacost on saxophone and Ugonna Okegwo on double bass. And we talked about another beautiful project, his solo project, the Trio NuYorxs, with Gabriel Guerrero on piano and Carlo De Rosa on double bass. Hereby I want to share my birthday present with all of you, who like to be part of this special cake!
Cover picture by Gene Jackson.