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Change to Decoding Society roster for Kessler show

June 23, 2012

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Drew Phelps, well-known Denton bassist, has dropped out of  the Ronald Shannon Jackson and Decoding Society performance, 8:30 p.m., July 7, 2012, in the Jazz at the Kessler series, the Kessler Theater, 1230 West Davis Street, Oak Cliff.

Fusion Jazz Bassist Melvin Gibbs

Bassist, composer and producer Melvin Gibbs will step in to play electric bass for the avant-garde Jazz “experience.” Click to view Gibbs, guitarist Bill Frisell and Jackson from a Sept. 3, 1988 Stadtgarten-Koln, Germany performance:

The rest of Jackson’s band remains the same: Ronald Shannon JacksonDrums, Flute and Schalmei (an 8-bell signal horn. – actually a reed instrument that produces a very loud sound); Melvin Gibbs, bass, University of North Texas Jazz alum Leonard Hayward, violin; trumpet player John Weir; and guitarist Gregg Prickett.

Decoding Society is Jackson’s project using the harmelodic technique of each musician in a group simultaneously improvising around the melodic and rhythmic patterns in a tune, rather than one musician improvising on its underlying harmonic pattern while the others play an accompaniment.

Link to purchase tickets | About the Kessler Theater

Check out these two 2012 Decoding Societyrehearsal tracks –
“Wrong Jones”:
“He Walks in the River”:

More about Ronald Shannon Jackson

Ronald Shannon Jackson has kicked it with many Jazz greats such as Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ray Bryant, Stanley Turrentine, Bennie Maupin and Shirley Scott.

“I performed and recorded with three musical revolutionaries who virtually defined jazz in the 1970’s: Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, and Ornette Coleman. I am the only musician to perform and record with all three.

After my final performance with Ornette Coleman on Saturday Night Live in 1979, I created The Decoding Society, whose classic recordings, including “Eye on You,” “Mandance,” “Street Priest,” “Barbeque Dog,” and “When Colors Play” breathed new life into American music. On more than 15 albums and countless tours, I helped launch the careers of some of the most talented musicians in jazz, including Bill Frisell, Byard Lancaster, Billy Bang, James “Blood” Ulmer, Vernon Reid, Melvin Gibbs, Akbar Ali, Jef Lee Johnson, Robin Eubanks, Eric Person, and James Carter.” – Excerpt from


Ronald Shannon Jackson:

The Kessler Theatre:

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