Brian Jackson (musician)

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Brian Jackson on a stairwell in Harlem, New York, 2005

Brian Jackson is a keyboardist, flautist, singer, composer, and producer. He is best known for his collaborations with Gil Scott-Heron in the 1970s. The sound of Jackson's Rhodes electric piano and flute accompaniments featured prominently in many of their compositions, most notably on "The Bottle" and "Rivers of My Fathers" from their first official collaboration Winter in America.


The Brooklyn-born Jackson met Gil Scott-Heron while the two were attending Lincoln University (Pennsylvania).[1] They began a decade-long writing, producing, and recording partnership. Jackson composed most of the music that he and Scott-Heron together performed and recorded. In 1973, the two released their first album together, Pieces of a Man,[2] with Ron Carter on bass. Other notable albums include Free Will (1972) and Winter in America (1974), which was the first to have Jackson receive co-billing, and which was later described by Barney Hoskyns in UNCUT as "a masterwork of ghetto melancholia and stark political gravitas".[3] His biggest hit was with Scott-Heron, 1974's "The Bottle". By 1979, they had recorded ten albums, with other unreleased material surfacing on subsequent Scott-Heron releases following their 1980 split.

Jackson continued to be active in the 1980s and 1990s, working with Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Will Downing and Gwen Guthrie.[1] Jackson's first solo album, "Gotta Play" (released October 2000), included guest performances by Roy Ayers and Scott-Heron. Jackson's other credits include work with Roy Ayers, Kool and the Gang, Janis Siegel (of Manhattan Transfer), Will Downing, Gwen Guthrie, Pete Miser of (Radio Free Brooklyn) on his solo album, "Camouflage is Relative", Alabama 3 "MOR", and Carl Hancock Rux ("Homeostasis").

Brian Jackson is still active, currently performing with keyboardists Lonnie Liston Smith and Mark Adams under the band name A Soulful Night of Keys.


Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson[edit]



  • "Ain't No Such Thing as Superman" 7" (1975), Arista
  • "(What's The Word) Johannesburg" 7" (1975), Arista
  • "The Bottle" 7" (1976), Arista
  • "Hello Sunday, Hello Road" 7" (1977), Arista
  • "Under The Hammer" 7" (1978), Arista
  • "Angel Dust" 7" (1978), Arista
  • "Show Bizness" 7" (1978), Arista
  • "Shut 'Um Down" 7"/12" (1980), Arista
  • "Willing" 7" (1980), Arista
  • "The Bottle (drunken mix)" 7"/12" (1980), Inferno

Brian Jackson[edit]

  • Gotta Play (2000), RMG
  • Kentyah Presents: Evolutionary Minded featuring M1, Brian Jackson and the New Midnight Band (2013), Motéma



  1. ^ a b Wynn, Ron "Brian Jackson Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-02-06
  2. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2002) The Great Rock Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-312-1, p. 912-3
  3. ^ Hoskyns, Barney (2005) "Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson: Winter in America (Charly)", UNCUT, July 2005

External links[edit]