Michael Gregory Jackson, the visionary guitarist namechecked as a vital influence by modern masters like Vernon Reid, Brandon Ross, Bill Frisell and Nels Cline, releases his first-ever solo electric guitar album, Electric Git Box (Golden Records). Available exclusively at the artist’s Bandcamp site, the digital offering boasts 11 unaccompanied solo guitar pieces showcasing the breathtaking stylistic scope and technique of this critically-acclaimed and influential guitarist’s singular work.
The album includes both reinterpretations of Jackson originals dating back to his 1976 solo debut, Clarity, Circle, Triangle, Square, as well as a host of powerful new work. The release will include liner notes comprised of reflections on Electric Git Box from Oliver Lake, Vernon Reid, Bakida Carroll, Ed Motta, Brian Jackson and Brandon Ross, as well as a poem written for the project by authur/playwright/poet Jessica Hagedorn, with additional writings from Jackson.
Jackson says of Electric Git Box, “The nature of beauty is at the core of my being and my music, alongside aggression, passion, fire, and powerful feelings of personal independence and creative freedom. This project was borne of an angst-full period for me, I was feeling inundated with tragedies, the isolation of Covid lockdowns, re-occurring police and vigilante killings of Black people, and living with the omnipresent reality of systemic racism. I was feeling angry, disconnected and erased; thus, I recorded this music with some edges, some distortion, to communicate the multifaceted well of emotions that birthed this performance.”
He goes on to explain, “My guitars, which I’ve called ‘git boxes’ since my teens, have always been my companions and a sanctuary to me, vehicles to help me through the angst of my younger life, and now. Through my guitars, I discovered discipline, self-awareness and inspiration, my git boxes opened a conduit, a dive in deep access and connection to the blues-ness in me.”
‘FEAR’ is one of the first songs I wrote and recorded in 1979 when I formed MGJ’s SIGNAL! This is the third iteration of the band; Ray Mason - bass, Chet Pasek- drums and Barry Harwood - acoustic piano and keyboards. I recorded this shortly after my 1979 'Heart & Center' album on Arista Records when I decided I'd start a 'rock' band. I'm excited to say there's more music I will release from SIGNAL! - MGJ
Music and spoken words are multicolored threads intertwined, a piece of elaborately woven aural tapestry.
I’m looking forward to a bright new future. I’m calling for an end to the destruction of natural habitats, of willful polluting, and over fishing, no more toxic waste and chemicals dumped in our oceans and waterways, a call for an end to fossil fuels, coal mining and the environmental racism of extractive capitalism. All of these issues disproportionately impact Black and brown people, for the profit of the few to the detriment of the rest of us and our planet.
One of many environmental activists to follow, to join:
Kari Fulton, who comes from the school of thought that everything you do is connected to the environment in some capacity. She calls her generation “Generation Why Not?”, and works to mobilize people by building awareness of the connection between environmental issues and social justice issues. Fulton co-founded www.Checktheweather.net a national online community and web platform to amplify the voices of young people of color advocating for environmental justice. In her capacity at EJCC, Fulton trains hundreds of young people at more than 50 universities, particularly students of color at historically black colleges, about the importance of building a green movement.
“MGJ was already doing almost everything I was striving to do. How inspiring and simultaneously daunting!”
“Frequency Equilibrium Koan is a communion of loft jazz musicians who weren’t just among the best of their time, but of ALL time. As Frisell marveled, “I can’t believe this happened more than 40 years ago. It sounds like the future.”
MGJ is among a generation of guitarists who forged their own path on the instrument in the wake of Jimi Hendrix. No less an authority than Pat Metheny said, “I have always considered him to be one of the most significantly original guitarists of our generation” while Bill Frisell opined, “I believe he’s one of the unsung innovators.”
“Michael Gregory Jackson…first made waves…in New York’s loft-jazz scene of the 1970s. Working alongside such major innovators as Oliver Lake, David Murray, and Wadada Leo Smith, he quietly laid the groundwork for much of what we take for granted in the contemporary jazz-guitar vocabulary.” —National Sawdust, Brooklyn 2019
Michael Gregory Jackson has performed and/or recorded with: Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, Will Calhoun (Living Colour), David Murray, Baikida Carroll, Matt Shipp, Grammy Award Winner Nile Rodgers (Chic, Daft Punk), Pulitzer Prize Winner Anthony Davis, Carlos Santana, Bernard Edwards (Chic), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Billy Hart (Wes Montgomery, Wayne Shorter), Nona Hendryx, Kenwood Dennard (Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock), Buster Williams (Herbie Hancock), Steve Winwood (Traffic), Keith Witty (Anthony Braxton, Amel Larrieux, Somi), Nels Cline (Wilco), Walter Becker (Steely Dan), Anthony Braxton, Rakalam Bob Moses, Niels Praestholm, Patti LaBelle, Jack Dejohnette, Anton Fig (Letterman Show), Melle Mel, Omar Hakim (Weather Report, Sting), Jerome Harris, Eddie Henderson, Simon Spang-Hanssen, Amina Claudine Myers, David Sancious (Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel), Obie Award Winner Ntozake Shange, Pulitzer Prize Winner Henry Threadgill, Rodney Holmes, Jimmy Bralower, Nona Hendryx, Kevin Jones, American Book Award WinnerJessica Hagedorn, Ed Blackwell (Ornette Coleman), Steve Thorton (Miles Davis), Anthony Jackson, Gary Bartz (Miles Davis), Tony Thompson (Chic, Robert Palmer, Led Zeppelin), Sammy Figueroa (Miles Davis), Kermit Driscoll (Bill Frisell), Ole Romer, Bernard Davis (Sam and Dave, Mariah Carey), Marty Ehrlich, Karl Berger, Ingrid Berger, Pulitzer Prize Nominee Wadada Leo Smith, Victor Lewis, Grammy Award and American Book Award Winner Thulani Davis, Jeff Bova, Archie Shepp, Amina Claudine Myers, Ronnie Burrage,Phillip Wilson, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, Alex Cline and many others.
folks, lively, living divergent lives,
meandering streams, outflows birthed,
currents of sacred grace,
pouring, every which way, from love
miscellaneous parts, hands, eyes, feet & hearts,
we see, learn life, movements, steps & starts,
answers, question marks & smarts, map your charts
rise up, be there, in your space, beyond the clouds,
speak up, be strong, be proud, know, for sure,
you belong, get focused, get up, yes, take a bow,
you’re flying now
aware, in here, effervescent bursts,
hope exceeds control, regardless of shadows,
specifically, continuously, create,
see, what we are, how we feel,
who we be