CD Review – Jesse Jackson by Jessie Jackson
Jesse, Jesse, Jesse. What more can I say. Now I ain’t talkin’ about the bible thumping, democratic dangling, rainbow coalition Jesse here. No sir’ee. We’re talkin’ about the Miami maverick, Luna Star Cafe luminary (www.LunaStarCafe.com) , Boston Berklee’ite Jesse Jackson (www.IamJesseJackson.com). And finally, after many years, we are blessed to have another in what will hopefully be a long line of fantastic releases from this musician’s musician. Titled after it’s namesake, Jesse Jackson the CD is a eleven track homage to the genius and genuine musicianship of the south Florida songwriter/singer we all must know and love.
Opening with the gentle and sexy “Love,” Jesse sweeps us into a dream world where love takes you dancing with out music. We then slide into my favorite track of the entire CD,”Go Away,” a Tom Waitsy, “Clap Hands” like journey into family memories, a journey Tom himself should have taken instead of Bone Machine (1992, Island). From there, it’s track three – “Binge” – a Texas Swing overture to the fantasia and foibles of addictions. Next, it’s time to “Think,” where the polka down beat reminds us that if there’s one thing that thinking doesn’t do is take all our problems and divide them by two. Then Jesse takes us into “Thunder,” that ear-splitting crack of nature that sounds like a banshee scratching out the devil’s eyes. After the storm is over, the CD reaches it’s apex with “Psalm” where we find that some people cling to Jesus like a baby and it’s mother breast, but it’s abandoning the nest that finally frees us.
But Jesse ain’t through freeing us yet. No ma’am. Continuing with “Birds,” Jesse proves that we’re all connected in each and every imaginable way, from trees belonging to paper and paper to paper machete, while weddings and divorces belong to anything your mind allows. And then there’s track eight, “Leather.” Of all the titles on this CD, this is the most unexpected one. A fitting instrumentation to any classic Sergio Leone spaghetti western (think Once Upon A Time In The West, 1968, Paramount Pictures), our Italian born Jesse Jackson becomes more like Jesse James in this bass driven homily to the joys of cow hide. This is followed by the incomparable “Diane,” the story of forbidden love where you can fall asleep with a knife in your hand and a glass of champagne. Next to last we come to track ten, “Angel,” the jail bird flip side of “Diane” where I’m frozen on the fence, now I’m on my way to prison with some handcuffs on my confidence. Which brings us to the grand finale “Spend It,” where we celebrate your story, celebrate mine, and celebrate the glory of the truth it’s left behind.
So, Jesse, Jesse, Jesse. I could say so much more as I sit here writing my third in a series of sunny summer magic poolside reviews at the Ritz Carlton rated Carol Foster’s. But better yet, pick up his latest CD, and then let me hear all the good things you got to say.
P.S. – there’s a hidden track on this CD. Can you find it?