Ronald Shannon Jackson

Ronald Shannon Jackson

Ronald Shannon Jackson (born January 12, 1940) is an American jazz drummer. He was born in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jackson is notable for his unusual approach to his instrument, which draws as much inspiration from military and parade bands as from traditional jazz drumming.He is the only person to have recorded and performed with the three prime shapers of free jazz: pianist Cecil Taylor, and saxophonists Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler.

In 1979, he founded his own group, The Decoding Society, playing what has been dubbed free funk: a blend of funk rhythm and free jazz improvisation. Its recordings include "Eye on You", "Mandance", "Street Priest", "Barbeque Dog", and "When Colors Play". Vernon Reid (Living Colour), and Melvin Gibbs (Harriet Tubman, Rollins Band) both started their careers with Jackson. Both played and recorded extensively with Jackson.

With Sonny Sharrock, Peter Brötzmann, and Bill Laswell, Jackson was a member of the quartet Last Exit. In 1987 he co-founded the groups Power Tools (with guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Melvin Gibbs) and SXL (with Laswell, Indian violinist L. Shankar, Senegalese drummer Aiyb Dieng, and Korean percussion group SamulNori); in 1988 he and Laswell teamed with Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata in the trio Mooka. He has also recorded with Charles Tyler (Jackson's first recording date), James Blood Ulmer (Jackson was an original member of Ulmer's band Music Revelation Ensemble), Billy Bang, Albert Mangelsdorff, Robin Eubanks, Byard Lancaster, Eric Person, and James Carter.

His most recent tours included performances in Europe with Wadada Leo Smith and John Lindberg on one hand, and with Melvin Gibbs, Joseph Bowie, Vernon Reid, and James Blood Ulmer on the other.


As leader:
* "Eye on You" (About Time, 1980)
* "Nasty" (Moers, 1981)
* "Street Priest" (Moers, 1981)
* "Mandance" (Antilles, 1982)
* "Barbeque Dog" (Antilles, 1983)
* "Montreux Jazz Festival" (Knit Classics, 1983)
* "Pulse" (Celluloid, 1984)
* "Decode Yourself" (Island, 1985)
* "Taboo" (Venture/Virgin, 1981-83)
* "Earned Dream" (Knit Classics, 1984)
* "Live at Greenwich House" (Knit Classics, 1986)
* "Live at the Caravan of Dreams" (Caravan of Dreams, 1986) AKA "Beast in the Spider Bush"
* "When Colors Play" (Caravan of Dreams, 1986)
* "Texas" (Caravan of Dreams, 1987)
* "Red Warrior" (Axiom, 1990)
* "Raven Roc" (DIW, 1992)
* "Live in Warsaw" (Knit Classics, 1994)
* "What Spirit Say" (DIW, 1994)
* "Shannon's House" (Koch, 1996)(dates are recording, not release)

with Last Exit
* "Köln" (ITM, 1986)
* "Last Exit" (Enemy, 1986)
* "The Noise of Trouble" (Enemy, 1986) with guests Akira Sakata and Herbie Hancock
* "Cassette Recordings 87" (Celluloid, 1987)
* "Iron Path" (Virgin, 1988)
* "Headfirst into the Flames: Live in Europe" (Muworks, 1989)

with Mooko:
* "Japan Concerts" (Celluloid, 1988)

with Music Revelation Ensemble:
* "No Wave" (Moers, 1980)
* "Music Revelation Ensemble" (DIW, 1988)

with Power Tools:
* "Strange Meeting" (Antilles, 1987)

with SXL:
* "Live in Japan" (Terrapin/Sony Japan, 1987)
* "Into the Outlands" (Celluloid, 1987)

As sideman:
*Albert Ayler: "At Slug's Saloon, vols. 1&2" (ESP, 1966)
*Albert Ayler: "Holy Ghost: Rare and Unreleased Recordings" (Revenant, 1962-70)
*Ornette Coleman: "Dancing in Your Head" (A&M, 1973, 1975)
*Ornette Coleman: "Body Meta" (Artists House, 1975)
*Bill Laswell: "Baseline" (Elektra Musician, 1982)
*Cecil Taylor: "The Cecil Taylor Unit" (New World, 1978)
*Cecil Taylor: "3 Phasis" (New World, 1978)
*Cecil Taylor: "One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye" (hat Hut, 1978)
*Charles Tyler: "Charles Tyler Ensemble" (ESP, 1966)
*James Blood Ulmer: "Are You Glad to Be in America?" (Rough Trade, 1980)
*James Blood Ulmer: "America: Do You Remember the Love?" (Blue Note, 1986)
*John Zorn: "Spillane" (Nonesuch, 1986-87)

External links

* [ Official Site.]
* [ Discography.]

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