Burning Gums

Flubby Dubby

(Roni Music)


A much respected guitarist, composer and producer based in NYC, Ron Jackson has cut a wide range of albums over the past couple decades. Jackson is renowned for tastefully blending his love of rock, R&B, World Beat, jazz, funk and even classical within the framework of his sonic guitar sound. Subsequently, there aren't many styles of music that Jackson hasn’t covered on record. Moving forward on his esteemed musical legacy, Jackson also released a 2011 CD from his latest project, entitled Burning Gums. I guess the title fits in well with the young lady on the cover of the Burning Gums CD art, who looks like she’s about to bite into a red hot chili pepper. In contrast, the music on the Burning Gums CD is quite cool actually with Jackson’s smooth jazz instrumental sound and vision getting suitable backing from Norbert Marius (bass) and Matsu Hiroyuki (drums). All types of jazz guitar lovers will completely dig this record which covers a wide range of styles and sounds—from smooth jazz to soul-jazz and fusion to Brazilian style jazz samba. Even with so many instrumental guitar-based moves on hand, the key here is the groove that Jackson and company brings to the forefront on this thoroughly enjoyable instrumental guitar-centric fusion CD. Coinciding with the release of his 2011 CD with Burning Gums, NYC guitar hero Ron Jackson also has a companion 2011 CD rerelease of his 2009 album, Flubby Dubby. Featuring a Hammond organ inspired group, and produced by Jackson mentor Melvin Sparks, the Flubby Dubby CD was recorded at a live Jackson date from West Orange, N.J. with the guitarist featuring the core trio of Jackson, Kyle Koeler (organ) and Otis Brown III (drums), along with a smoking horn section. Flubby Dubby is another electrifying, uptown instrumental guitar fusion from Ron Jackson. After six albums to his credit, each of these CDs accurately portrays Ron Jackson as a vital fretboard force in the world of 21st century jazz-rock. www.BurningGums.com / www.RonJacksonMusic.com / www.CDBaby.com

mwe3.com presents an interview with

mwe3.com: Where did you grow up and what first drew you to the guitar?

RON JACKSON: My father was a Marine in the U.S. military, so we moved all over the country. I was actually born in the Philippines, stayed there on and off till I was 5, moved to a lot of states then finally settled for high school near Boston. When I was in high school I had friends who played guitar, mainly rock. So I started playing rock guitar then got into jazz. I saw a lot of music when I was a kid from heavy metal to jazz. I composed a lot of tunes as a kid, mainly rock and instrumental folk.

mwe3.com: What were some of your earliest memories of studying guitar?

RJ: I was actually self-taught, I learned from friends. I really started studying privately when I went to Berklee in Boston. I was actually a jazz composition and arranging major at Berklee and consider myself a composer and arranger first.

mwe3.com: What was your first guitar that you played or practiced on?

RJ: It was a Fender Jazzmaster.

mwe3.com: How would you compare your jazz guitar style with your appreciation of the music of the Beatles and other giants of the post '60s rock era?

RJ: I would compare myself to Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Metheny. I like adapting popular tunes into jazz. I think good song writing from any era can be adapted to jazz.

mwe3.com: Burning Gums and Flubby Dubby are your two latest CD releases. What were some of the different approaches between the your guitar styles and compositional styles on the two albums?

RJ: Flubby Dubby was based on the classic Hammond organ group such as Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff, who I played with. Flubby Dubby is reminiscent of the funky James Brown groups with saxophonist Maceo Parker and the group Soul Live. Also it is a reissue CD. I have an independent label. The first cover and artwork was not very appealing. I did decided to do it all over again, the right way. This is recorded live featuring my soul-jazz originals and arrangements of popular tunes and standards. My late mentor and teacher guitarist Melvin Sparks produced this CD. My playing was more blues based, which Melvin recommended that I play stylistically on the date on this session that was recorded live.

Burning Gums is a collective band that I am part of with Norbert Marius - bass (from Hungary) and Matsuura Hiroyuki - drums and percussion (from Japan). Actually Norbert had hired me for local work in NYC. He had Matsu on drums. We had great chemistry and so we decided to record a CD. Our approach was fresh, spontaneous and adventurous. The musicians on the CD are well versed on different styles. I contributed 4 songs and the backing to make this group CD possible. You can hear how differently I play on each session. I adapt my playing style according to each situation that I perform in.

mwe3.com: Why did you call the album Burning Gums and can you say something about that great cover art for the Burning Gums CD?

RJ: Actually the bassist, Norbert came up with everything, the name of the group, he produced and mixed the CD, did all the artwork and hired the model on the CD cover. I contributed 4 tunes and my guitar playing.

mwe3.com: The cover of of Flubby Dubby is fantastic. Can you say something about the cover art of your CDs? Are you a big fan of album cover art?

RJ: My manager Steven Gardner (www.3rdalternative.com) designed the album cover. He is a great photographer as well. I love great album covers, the nicer or more unusual the cover, the more people are attracted to the CD, even if they don't know the music inside.

mwe3.com: When did you start Roni Music and how many CDs have you released so far?

RJ: I started this little home label in 2002, with my first release, The Dream I Had. I have three releases so far with a fourth, I am trying to finish the mixes to my new acoustic guitar CD called Akustik Adventures. I started this label because I wanted to be independent from the record labels. I wanted to have complete control. I plan to release at least 1 CD a year. I am always hired to record or play as a sideman with someone...

mwe3.com: Can you say something about the guitars that you featured on the Burning Gums and Flubby Dubby CDs?

RJ: On both is the exactly the same guitar, my 1993 Gibson L-5 Studio modified with two Benedetto pickups, that I got from my pickup endorsement with Seymour Duncan, with .014 George Benson Tomastik strings. My guitar was mixed differently on each CD. On Burning Gums my guitar was recorded direct, Nobert added effects after. On Flubby Dubby, my guitar was played through my Fender Deluxe Amp with 2 mics, with just a little reverb.

mwe3.com: What are some of your favorite guitars that you own and what new developments in the guitar world interests you most?

RJ: I love all my twelve guitars, but particularly my Gibson L-5 Studio, my custom built Flyde acoustic steel string guitar from England, my PRS hollow body and 516, and my Godin classical guitar. I don't really keep up all the guitar developments. I just try to keep up with just getting better as a musician so I can play the guitar well.

Thanks to Ron Jackson @ www.RonJacksonMusic.com / www.BurningGums.com


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