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!
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.
Munyungo's credits are vast in both recording and performing and they all culminate in the music of the CD Morning Sun. Regarding musical genres Munyungo explains, "My music is in between so many musical genres, I don’t want to get stuck in one genre. And as a percussionist and songwriter, we go in many different places. I look at all the musical diversity in the Morning Sun CD and define it as Jungle Jazz". Morning Sun does travel, weaving rhythms from Africa, South America, the Caribbean Islands, Cuba and of course America where Munyungo grew up swinging. To assist him in traversing the world of percussive music Munyungo has assembled a wonderful cast of incredible musicians to include John Beasley, Karen Briggs, Bill Summers and Dwight Trible.
In describing this music Munyungo says "Morning Sun, opens with a smooth beginning of the day".
"Desert Crossing" With its melody, groove and rhythmic aspects plus Dwight Trible, this one is destined for major airplay.
"Wednesday Morning" More melody in some aspects than the others. As fresh as a morning breeze.
"Gravity" Has a more specific African sound than some others, up tempo and exciting.
"Pushing Forward" Another great tempo, fast. Great guitar and piano soloing. With its straight ahead rhythms it's a natural for major spins.
"Suite Changui" With its afro, latin and jazz aspects it's a definite for airplay.
"Salsa" Definitely the Salsa groove. Danceable beat but very unique particularly with the spoken word, Kamauu Daaoud and the violin Karen Briggs.
"Afro Blue" Will draw attention due to the classic nature of the tune but fans and professionals will keep coming back because of the originality of it. Nice vocal and the "coco" lyric adds a special touch.
"Peaceful Stream" Very creative production in how the vocals were recorded, as though there were 2 or 3 singers. Nice.
"Grooveness" The title kind of says it all. Munyungo's soloing is great here as is throughout.
"Malian Flight" The Balafon is marimba like. Reminiscent of how Bobby Hutcherson performed with it and gave it lead attention regularly. Now Munyungo does similar but different and with similar sounding instrument, awesome! An extremely rhythmic tune.
"3:57" The Marimbula seems to continue in sound where the balafon leaves off. Very cool.
"4:AM" A continuation of "3:57" it seems obviously with more instrumentation. It sounds so full for just 2 musicians and Larry Koones is so good here.
"Tama" After the percussive intro the ensemble kind of explodes, so cool! The guitar soloing adds kind of a jazz rock sound. The word thunderous could be used to describe this this one.
"Rain Forest" If folks dig Weather Report and Pat Metheny they'll connect right in to this tune. But once they get there they'll again find Munyungo's originality plus Brigg's electrifying solo that makes it his own.
As a master of percussion instruments, Munyungo has amassed some 1,200 instruments and he's used many of them in creating the sheet of sound that is Morning Sun.