Eye on You

Ronald Shannon Jackson

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Eye on You Review

by Scott Yanow

Drummer Roland Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society on this About Time LP is comprised of quite an all-star lineup: violinist Billy Bang, altoist Byard Lancaster, tenor-saxophonist Charles Brackeen, Vernon Reid and Bern Nix on guitars, bassist Melvin Gibbs, and percussionist Erasto Vasconcelos. The Decoding Society plays what could be called free funk, a combination of loud funky rhythms with free jazz and the harmolodics pioneered by Ornette Coleman's Prime Time. Everyone solos together constantly, leading to dense and exciting ensembles that are overflowing with passion. Although this style of jazz (a forerunner of Steve Coleman's groups) never really caught on, the music is quite stimulating and a logical extension of '70s fusion.

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