WBGO Radar

Jamison Ross: "Jamison Ross"

jamison ross

One truly exciting thing about jazz is the regular new discoveries inherent in an art form perpetually in a state of reinvention.

Take the case of Jamison Ross. The Thelonious Monk Institute introduced him in 2012 as an incredible young drummer when he won the their International Jazz Competition.

Now, with his debut album, Jamison, we discover not only Ross’s talents as a time-keeping jazz musician, but also as a head-turning singer.

With a background not just of awards, but WORK with Dr. John, Jonathan Batiste, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian McBride and Carmen Lundy, “Jamison” is fit with a spirited, soulful emotional quality that belies his 27 years.

There are explored instrumentals, including Cedar Walton’s “Martha’s Prize,” and “Set Us Free," the Eddie Harris mover from his follow-up to the Swiss Movement album with Les McCann.

On both counts, Jamison does justice, along with his band of saxophonist Dayve Stewart, guitarist Rick Lollar, bassist Corcoran Holt, pianist Chris Pattishall, organist Cory Irvin and trumpeter Alphonso Horne III.

Then there is the voice, infused with jazz, blues and genuine soul, whether putting a new dressing on Muddy Waters’ “Deep Down in Florida” (with some kckin’ piano from Jonathan Batiste),  evergreens like “Sack Full  of Dreams,” “My One and Only Love”  “Bye Bye Blues”, or originals like “Emotions”, bearing witness that he is in touch with his.

This is what you get when you fuse a knowledge of jazz with the sanctified roots of the church, where Ross first encountered music.

Jamison comes out June 23. Ross & his band are featured on June 22 ‘at WBGO’s Monday Night series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, where I’m sure he’ll fit right into the spirit of swing.

  - Gary Walker, WBGO music director

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