Finding Serenity In Queens: The D.D. Jackson InterviewD.D. Jackson talks about his new CD Serenty Song, living in NewYork and the soundtrack to Grease.
By Jim Dupuis
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JD: You always do, to me, seem to have a positive spin and I think it’s fair comment. You ask what can we do and how do we celebrate the positives. “El Barrio” is lively and near the end of the album (Suite for New York). You get the feeling that there was a problem, we’re dealing with it and dealing with it the best that we can.
JD: That’s what I got out of the CD.
DD: Ya, absolutely, on fact there’s another piece called “Hopes and Dreams” on “Suite from New York that is which is very much about the fact that New York, despite all of these obstacles, has always been this beacon for people to come to from the world over. It is amazing to see the diversity of people who want to be here and are willing to endure a lot of hecticness and the overwhelming nature of the culture because there is still something really exciting about being here. New York as an inspiration for one’s hopes and dreams, literally.
JD: It’s the city. There’s no doubt about that. How about a couple of easy questions before you have to go? Let’s see how your memory is. What’s the first piece of music that you ever bought?
DD: That I ever bought--wow! I hate to admit it, but I actually do remember the answer to that (laughs)... the answer is ... The Grease Soundtrack, in the third grade.
JD: Nothing wrong with that.
DD: It may not be the most profound answer you’re looking for but I actually remember that it was the first piece of music. You know, I remember some of the earliest pieces I listened to, whether I bought them myself or not, were things like Oscar Peterson, which was the first jazz album I ever heard. I think it was “Night Train.” I think my father bought the album for me. There was also an album of duets of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. There were two different albums done by them. I had one of the two and believe one of the albums has since been released as a CD, that I listened to, over and over again, as a kid. Ya, there were a lot of early memories of wonderful music that later influenced me greatly when I became a jazz musician.
JD: Ya, it seems that many jazz musicians and classical musicians didn’t get a jazz or classical album as their first piece of music. Ok, if I was at your place right now and hit the little button on your CD player, what would pop out?
DD: (laughs) Actually nothing, because I switched to a wireless hyperactive high-tech system with my whole Apple set-up. So, basically I’m using I-tunes and I loaded a lot of my collection onto my computer and I have it connected wirelessly to different rooms in the house, so I don’t really listen to many CDs anymore.
JD: Ok, so what’s the last thing you listened to (laughs), is what I’m trying to say?
DD: I know, a vastly, direct literal answer to an obvious question that was intended not to be so direct. Lately I’ve been watching DVDs of orchestral performances. I bought a lot of conducting DVDs. I have one of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and one of Zuben Meta in rehearsal and things like that.
JD: D.D., thank you for taking the time to speak with me and good luck with your new CD “Serenity Song.”
DD: You’re welcome Jim, and thank you, too.
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