Bassist Ali Jackson is best known for playing on a session led collaboratively by trumpeter Wilbur Harden and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, well worn in its reissue and repackaging utilization, innovative in its use of African and Arabic musical motifs. The same can be said for some of the material also recorded for the Savoy label in the same period by inspired bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef, again featuring Jackson in the rhythm section as well as highlighted by a presentation of the bassist's composition entitled "Prayer to the East."
A morsel of the preceding sentence, Jackson in the rhythm section, triggers a set of protective responses concerning this artist's identity. When the Art Ensemble of Chicago concocted their hilarious sound collage "A Jackson in the House," it might have really been the fabrication of a soundtrack for a documentary on modern jazz rhythm sections. Just to begin with one variant on the letter A, more than a half-dozen players whose names combine Al, Ali, and Alan with Jackson show up in discographies -- not always in connection with anything any of them might have actually done.
This much is true: bassist Ali Jackson sired a son who has gone on to perform as a drummer with credits appearing as both Ali Jackson and Ali Muhammed Jackson. Neither of these men, not even the junior, are the same as the Al Jackson, Jr. who performed with Booker T. & the MG's. In the matter of the bassist,
there should be no confusion with the Allen Jackson who worked with leaders such as Sonny Stitt. More frequently bassist Ali Jackson is actually confused with himself, or rather separated into two different people named Al Jackson and Ali Jackson who are actually the same guy.