Keyboardist Richard P. Jackson explores depths of imagination on soulful new CD
To Richard P. Jackson, the keyboard is not just an instrument; it's a telescope to peer into another world. In the case of his latest album, Never Too Old to Groove, that would be the limitless depths of his imagination.
Jackson explores an expanse of musical terrain including R&B, soul, smooth jazz, and jazz fusion. Jackson does it all with a deft touch; the record is remarkable in its way of effortlessly making the transition from one genre to another. With this kind of stylistic crisscrossing, age is definitely on Jackson's side for only a seasoned vet such as him could pull it off with such grace and flair. Bravo.
The sparkling synthesizers of "A Different Time Frame" open the album with an easygoing tone that it retains throughout its lifespan. Referencing slick ‘80s R&B, Jackson creates a chill mood that makes it the perfect tune to listen to after a lengthy workday. Because of all the cookie-cutter acts producing increasingly pale versions of it, smooth jazz has gotten a bad rap over the last decade or so; Jackson returns it to its earlier relevance with his soulful touch.
Keyboards both caress and swirl on "I Am 4 Sure," a slow jam that unveil some of Jackson's most innovative work with the instrument. Despite their electronic heart, Jackson instills them with warmth and a strong sense of comfort. Jackson really cuts loose on "Imagination @ Work," a pulsating slice of jazz fusion that stimulates and expands the mind.
There's never a dull moment with Jackson. His creativity is in full bloom on this album, and his license to groove will continue to be renewed as the passage of years will never rust such explosive creativity.
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