Saturday, August 20, 2005

Let's put a pocket on it!

AL Jackson...what a drummer!
Booker T. & the MGs
Greatest band of all time?

Drummer: Al Jackson, Jr

".....Al was the son of big band leader Al Jackson, Sr. He began playing drums on stage with his father's band at the age of five. After playing with Willie Mitchell's band, he was recruited by Booker T. Jones in 1962 to play his first session at Stax. As guitarist Steve Cropper relates in the following interview, "It didn't take but about one or two sessions for everybody to realize the potential of Al Jackson and how good he was."
Al was a few years older than the other members of the Stax session team Steve Cropper (guitar), Duck Dunn (bass, who replaced Lewis Steinberg) and Booker T. Jones (keyboards, sometimes replaced by Isaac Hayes when schoolwork called). The younger players respected his experience and looked up to him. They relied on him to "put a pocket on it," as he called it-find the appropriate groove that would transform a good song into a great song, one that would also become a dance hit. This he did with a regularity that has yet to be surpassed.
His style was powerful, groove-oriented and deceptively simple. Many have imitated his playing but few have captured its strength and feel. For the better part of 10 years he came to work everyday cranking out solid, creative grooves. His drumming became easily recognizable and an integral part of '60s and '70s soul.
Al Jackson was tragically murdered in 1975, at age 39. His long time partner at Stax, Steve Cropper, graciously consented to do the following interview about Al so that the public can learn more about the life and spirit of this great drummer." Interview

Clips from

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