This artist shows up in credits as both Ali Muhammed Jackson and just plain Ali Jackson, feeding a discographical fudging frenzy in which the son is confused with the father and just about everybody gets to be called Al. The name that has brought the most attention to drummer Jackson's efforts as a bandleader has actually not been Al or Ali but rather Wynton, as in Wynton Marsalis, a childhood friend from an era already rich in family musical inspiration. The drummer's father was the bassist Ali Jackson, pop's sideman credits including a famous John Coltrane session. Only eight and not yet a drummer at the time his father the bassist died, Jackson was then adopted by another noted modern jazz bassist, Ray McKinney.
The star-conscious segment of the modern jazz scene took note when Marsalis, who had been closely following the musical progress of his young friend from home, began working as a sideman in the drummer's band. The 2002 Groove at Jazz Entete was Jackson's first recording under his own name.