Melvin Jackson- Funky Skull 12” LP

Melvin Jackson-funky skull LP_ed

Ok! So there’s lots to get excited about here. Firstly – the guys a goddamn crank! 2cndly, the AACM are all up in this! 3rdly ~ a cello/stand-up bass running through a series of pedals & FX stacks! & 4thly – it’s one of those glorious hyper obscure hidden albums that so easily could never of even made it to the pressing chamber (thank goodness this one got through). Let’s start with Melvin Jackson…never heard a’ the lad before. But the dapper wild eyed brotha’ on the sleeves cover standing next to his battery-boxes, FX units & amplifier kinda’ lets the possum out the ruck-sack that no ordinary event is as follows. From what I have garnered online, Melvin plays a lot for saxophonist Eddie Harris but somehow managed to swing this splendid album into effectuation with a sensational line-up which must have taken some serious diplomacy or/& digits. Whatever the case, the album is a knock-out! I only found it through Roscoe Mitchell being in the title credits, & naturally being a bone-hard abyss-diving explorer quick to fling the gizzards at the mere hint of adventure I got stuck straight the fuck in like any true self-respecting wax-mac! So, some serious funk is in order in the late 60’s or very early 70’s style (no recording/release date is ascribed), sodden with humour & a mischievous flare, prone to discordancy & passages of Off-Road madness & deeply psychedelic trippin’ ..yeah about that, Melvin plays his bass through Maestro G-2 filter box, Boomerang, Ampeg amplifier & Echo-Plex, basically a whole gaggle of gadgets & sound contortions. So you have this wonderful fogged-out FX-flogged uniqueness running around headless throughout the LP. Well, perhaps not headless? Everybody plays fantastically & every song is precious. Vocals are also present on some tracks from typical to the genre to shouts & hollerin’…the whole thing feels like an imaginary soundtrack from some cult late 60’s Blaxploitation feature that was abandoned & buried in the Bahamas. So many of these tracks could be set-pieces or the vibe-heavy cinematic prologues or interludes for a film score. As well as Melvin & Roscoe you have Lester Bowie, Jodie Christian, Byron Bowie, Wadada Leo Smith, Billy Hart & a smattering of other cats I am unfamiliar with. Mitchell plays a solo on the B-sides “Say What” & disembogues with ridiculous ferocity & emotiveness. As previously championed, there’s really not a dud-moment throughout, but the final track “Silver Cycles” that clocks in at 9.26 & is a slow & beautiful levitation through some seriously psychedelic maceration & reverb-centric quagmire probably has most my favouritism & fondness. Super’ super stuff & it’s still in print. It’s a pity there is not more from Melvin Jackson as a leader, but this brilliant episode made it through the mire & won’t be forgotten. Trek it doon!

Rekd – 196_?

Label – Limelight