Wesley Jackson

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A Wesley Jackson seems to be bubbling in the background for almost every generation of commercial black music. A guitarist with this name laid down bluesy riffs in the '50s for Ray Charles and many others.…
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A Wesley Jackson seems to be bubbling in the background for almost every generation of commercial black music. A guitarist with this name laid down bluesy riffs in the '50s for Ray Charles and many others. By the mid-'70s the name Wesley Jackson was identified with jazz-funk's college success story, the Blackbyrds, and a sideman who doubled on tenor saxophone and flute. "Post-millennial hip-hop for purists" is a tantalizing description from writer Stanton Swihart concerning an early number in the discography for a Wesley Jackson who, from 2001 onward, has championed hip-hop.

This Jackson opens his mouth and sings from time to time, taking background vocal or "vocal ad lib" credits on sides by the Saint and J-Live. More typically he fills the non-specific role of executive producer, but in this case the details of the job are clear: promotion. Jackson is a champion of an eclectic roster of artists who can be lovingly summarized as well-informed loudmouths. For the excellent compilation entitled 7 Heads R Better Than 1: No Edge Ups in South Africa, Jackson contributed liner notes.