Gary Giddins
May 17, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Red Warrior

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Ronald Shannon Jackson
Producers
Axiom, Mango
genre
Jazz, Rock

We gave it an A

Is it jazz? Is it rock? Does it matter what you call it? Jackson’s music defies categorization. In Red Warrior the incredibly deft change-ups in the rhythms, combined with solos by three fire-breathing guitarists, especially Stevie Salas, who is easily recognized by his heavy use of reverb, make this a dazzling breakthrough for Jackson, a drummer who served his apprenticeship with such avatars of the jazz avant-garde as Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor. Jackson also composed the diverse and cagily sculpted pieces. Unlike most fusion albums, where the elements of jazz and rock combine like oil and water, Jackson allows the two genres to enhance each other. A

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