TIR 104: Paul Jackson Jr. Talks Tasty Guitar Licks and Session Kicks


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 104 (2 parts): One of the most recorded guitarists in the world — Mr. Paul Jackson Jr. Also an accomplished producer, composer and arranger, Jackson spent a decade as an ace session player lending his highly in-demand skills to an astounding roster of respected and iconic music stars spanning the genres of jazz, pop, R&B and beyond before launching his successful solo career in the late 1980s as a jazz-R&B fusionist. His varied albums typically check all the jazz, funk, R&B boxes with tasty and nimble solos throughout.

Though he never got to meet or work with one of his chief guitar and musical influences, Wes Montgomery, Jackson has forged professional relationships with all the others who touched his formative years. Those include Earl Klugh, George Benson, Ray Parker Jr., George Duke, Earth. Wind and Fire’s Al McKay and Lee Ritenour, as well as his mentor, Patrice Rushen.

He has also appeared on the recordings of superstars like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Quincy Jones, Luther Vandross, Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, B.B. King, Kenny Rogers, Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke, Joe Sample, Barry White and Chicago. More recently, Jackson contributed his talents to a Daft Punk album that won 5 Grammy Awards and was No. 1 in 104 countries.

Jackson has also released 8 albums under his own name, including his debut, I Came to Play, in 1988, Never Alone: Duets in 1996 and most recently, Stories From Stompin’ Willie. The latter was a tribute to his deceased friend and musical giant, George Duke, and the highly funky album includes several remakes of his works. In 2018, he joined prolific keyboardist Jeff Lorber’s Funk Soul Jazz trio, with the terrific Life and Times having dropped earlier this year and the group hitting stages in its support. In addition, Jackson has appeared on many TV shows and specials, including “Martin,” “Don’t Forget The Lyrics” “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “American Idol.”

Jackson covers most of those experiences in this in-depth TRUTH IN RHYTHM interview. He digs deep into his playing techniques, unforgettable memories recording some of contemporary music’s great songs, working with famed artists, stories around his own releases, spirituality and faith, just about everything in between, and even the fantastic things just around the corner.