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Morning Sun

Munyungo Jackson

I call my music Jungle Jazz because it's a mixture of African, Latin and Caribbean grooves complimented by my American jazz roots swingin' hard, with my worldly funky upbringing accenting each song. This project will let you know I love to beat on things and create a communication within my music you can feel. MORNING SUN opens with a smooth

I call my music Jungle Jazz because it's a mixture of African, Latin and Caribbean grooves complimented by my American jazz roots swingin' hard, with my worldly funky upbringing accenting each song. This project will let you know I love to beat on things and create a communication within my music you can feel. MORNING SUN opens with a smooth beginning of the day taking you through a Desert Crossing to groovin' on a Wednesday Morning while you are Pushing Forward, with the energy of Salsa landing you in the Peaceful Streams of life. It's a Grooveness... a Malian Flight into the blue skies bringing you into your spiritual consciousness in the powerful time of 4AM landing you in the Rain Forest of possibilities. My heart pumps through each and every tune featuring many of my good friends who happen to be great versatile musicians. Winning 4 Grammys with Keb Mo and Dianne Reeves, Gold and Platinum records with Stevie, Sting and Kenny Loggins, spending my young years playing and touring with Miles and many other great artists and accumulating over 1,200 instruments has added to my musical influences and only makes me desire more strongly to share my music with the world. I hope you love and enjoy my musical project, and feel my Jungle Jazz as I help you bring up your MORNING SUN.

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Neon Jazz Interview Series - Munyungo Jackson

Morning Sun Reviews

Jazz Weekly

by George W. Harris
December 2019

He’s played on albums ranging from Miles Davis to Marcus Miller. Here on his own, Munyungo Jackson plays a surfeit of percussion instruments from all over the world on this panoramic collection of upbeat and life affirming tunes. The ensembles range from solo treatises by Munyngo as he  plays balafon, talking drum, shells, voice and voice on the Caribbean title track to nine member ensembles which include tenor sax titan Kamasi Washington and passionate vocalist Dwight Trible on the ethereal “Desert Crossing.” Justo Almaro’s flute floats on “Salsa” while the leader’s timbales simmer like fried rice under Ebony Fay’s voice on a fervent read of “Afro Blue.” Keyboards by John Beasley thicken up the African heat of  “Rain Forest”  with West African heat provided on the soulful “Malian Flight.” A rich duet between Jackson’s kalimba and vocalist Harry Thompson make for a life affirming “Peaceful Streams,” with the loving dedication of the music and attitude to God. You can feel the thankfulness on every note. Take two every morning!

Midwest Record

October 2019

MUNYUNGO/Morning Sun: Was your biggest complaint about Andy Narell was that he was a touch too much Berkeley and not enough Oakland (you know what I mean)? If so, Munyungo is your man. Armed with an arsenal of percussion instruments and putting them active display, he even brings the stuff you'd think are toys to a fully realized life. Loaded with an organic, close to the ground vibe, the companies that sponsor him are putting their promotional budgets to good use. Open your ears to the jazz and beyond sprightfully presented here and enjoy some new possibilities and frontiers.

The Toledo Blade

November 2019
by Tom Henry

A longtime percussionist for Stevie Wonder, four-time Grammy winner Munyungo Jackson has played drums, congas, bongos, timbales, and numerous other instruments for an amazing list of other A-list musicians, including Miles Davis, Sting, Kenny Loggins, Keb Mo, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, the Zawinul Syndicate, Ronnie Laws, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and The Supremes. In fact, he now has some 1,200 instruments in his arsenal.

On this disc, the free-spirited California native offers a 15-song set that is a real genre-bender, offering anything from a euphoric, transcendental sound to hip hop and other types of more aggressive music. I found the title track, the first number on the album, to be an especially pleasing mix of salsa and mellow sounds, offering a beautiful musical landscape for listeners. To me, it is the most memorable piece on the disc, which in some respects tries to do too much.  

I found myself yearning for more of the Morning Sun opening style. But it’s all good. Jackson calls his music “Jungle Jazz, because it’s a mixture of African, Latin, and Caribbean grooves complimented by my American jazz roots swingin’ hard, with my worldly funky upbringing accenting each song.” I’m not sure if ‘Jungle Jazz’ would be my term for describing what he does, but the African, Latin, and Caribbean grooves augmented by American jazz roots pretty much nails it.  

You can’t go wrong with this West Coast percussion legend and his open, sometimes airy vision. It’s a solid disc, even if it meanders a bit more than I wished.

Press Release - Pro Marketing Entertainment

Munyungo Jackson Releases Extraordinary New CD Morning Sun

From Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder and Sting to Kenny Loggins and Diane Reeves - When It Came To a Percussionist They Called Munyungo Jackson!

LOS ANGELES, CA - Los Angeles California born and raised Munyungo Jackson has produced Morning Sun a transcending 15 tune set bound to be a favorite for all lovers of great music. 

Born into musical and creative surroundings, his parents Arthur Jackson Jr. and Genie Jackson, both maintained various involvements in music, dance and writing.  Additionally his mom's sister was noted jazz and R&B singer Nellie Lutcher who recorded for Capitol, Epic and Liberty records. Nellie was credited as an influence by Nina Simone among others. 

As a child Munyungo was required to take classical piano lessons, and did so until he was 17 years old.  But in his high school years, when one of his buddies started a Latin jazz band, 17 year old Munyungo found himself uncontrollably attracted to the sound of the timbales and conga's and his interest in piano began to wane.  He began spending more and more time with the percussionist in that band, soon discovering that he was quite skillful at observing, learning and remembering the techniques. At his first opportunity he purchased his very own set of timbales.  Also during this time Munyungo's father was the program director of the jazz station KTYM.  This afforded him the opportunity to immerse himself in the Latin rhythms of Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo and Tito Puente among many others.  He practiced by playing his timbales along with these albums.  Soon, his system of observation, plus practice proved to be an effective method for musical growth, and it wasn’t long before he formed a Latin jazz band with his classmates.  From that point, he made the natural progression to congas, bongos, Latin percussion and beyond. Eventually he gravitated to religious bata drumming, and numerous drums and percussion instruments from many different cultures.   Continue Reading

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