Widely regarded as one of the early architects of the neo-soul era, Brian Jackson’s enduring sound is capturing the hearts and souls of yet another generation. Today, Brian is not only a respected jazz artist but also a frequent collaborator with emerging artists who carry on the Tradition of inspiring
and informing through conscious music.
The Tradition continued in 1970 when the Brooklyn-born producer, composer and musician Jackson began writing songs with another prodigy,
twenty year-old Lincoln University classmate and poet Gil Scott- Heron.
Jackson remembers his first encounter with Gil, “He had this way with words and I thought to myself, ‘People have to hear this stuff.’ What I had to offer
was the music I was writing. I figured if we could blend it with Gil’s eye-opening phraseology, we might just be able to draw some people away from the media long enough to focus more deeply on what was really going on. Hopefully they would pass on what they’ve discovered. And so on.”
Scott-Heron and Jackson’s partnership produced some of the most poignant and politically charged albums of the seventies. Their albums Pieces of a Man,
Free Will, Winter in America, First Minute of a New Day, From South Africa to South Carolina, Bridges, Secrets and 1980 are coveted by collectors and conscious-minded music fans alike. Tracks like “The Bottle,” “Johannesburg,” “It’s Your World,” “Angel Dust,” “Willing” and “95 South (All the Places We’ve Been),” while highly relevant back in the day, are still uncomfortably so, and so still serve as “true North” for many of the current generation of conscious artists.