Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson attended Berklee, played in the last version of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and was a pretty staunch hard bopper through numerous sessions and his first recordings as a leader. He began branching out with covers of an eclectic crowd that included Jobim, Muddy Waters, Stevie Wonder, and Frank Zappa, and eventually settled into a soulful jazz mode with an emphasis on groove. Jackson still incorporates interesting tangents amid sophisticated playing, however, which is the case on his latest, 2006's Now (Palmetto). In addition to covers of Donny Hathaway and James Brown, Now features originals such as "In the Sticks," an expansive foray into infectious, simmering funk with tasty instrumental work all around. Dr. Lonnie Smith contributed the sly, effervescent organ on the album, but handling the keyboards here at the Dakota will be jazz-soul vet Les McCann, who pioneered some of this stuff back in the 1970s with touchstones including "Compared to What." $30 at 7 p.m. and $22 at 9:30 p.m.
Mon., May 19, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2008