First Listen: Freddie Jackson – Without You (Climax Entertainment)
Lookin’ back at our yesterdays, and we’ll find Freddie Jackson standing at a good place. From his venture as the lead singer of Mystic Merlin back in the early 80’s. This resulting in gems such as ‘Mr. Magician’ and the unsung ‘Full Moon Rising’. To his progressive establishment as a First League singer in the R&B circuit. Eventually competing for supremacy with icons such as Luther Vandross and Alexander O’Neal, no less! Meanwhile enlightening our hearts and souls with timeless smoothies such as ‘Rock Me Tinight’, ‘You Are My Lady’ and the Quite Stormy ‘Do Me Again’. When not rockin’ with the firing ‘Crazy For Me’.
Years have gone since, if not an eternity. But Jackson brilliantly shows he’s still alive and kicking. Delivering the mellow groovy ‘Without You’. With a bunch of attractive strings and sweet female background vocals around. The whole along with vet producer Barry J. Eastmond.
‘Without You’ smoothly comes as a follow-up to the 2017 released ‘One Night’ on the same label. I wouldn’t be that surprised seeing ‘Love Signals’, his awaited new album comin’ up soon as a matter of fact…
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A native of Harlem, NYC, Freddie Jackson got trained as a Gospel singer from an early age. Singin’ at the White Rock Baptist Church of Harlem where he met Paul Laurence Jones who would later become his producer and songwriting partner. With both of them eventually writing for luminaries such as Lillo Thomas or Howard Johnson among others.
Among the first traces of him, the recording of the obscure ‘Ain’t Got Time’ along with Ednah Holt as Holt’45 on Sutra Records back in 1980. Then Jackson soon after joined Mystic Merlin as their lead singer. This resulting in the release of the 1982 ‘Full Moon’ album featuring the highly sought after ‘Mr. Magician’ and the unmissable altough unsung ‘Full Moon Rising’. Eventually singing back up for Melba Moore. With the latter being of a precious help to get him to sign a record deal.
Jackson finally made his solo debut back in 1985 with the ‘Rock Me Tonight’ album on Capitol. From then, he would establish himself as a solid contender. Competing for supremacy in the R&B scene, along with the late Luther Vandross and Alexander O’ Neal. Meanwhile showing a rare prowess as a balladeer. This resulting in smoothies such as ‘Rock Me Tonight’ and ‘You Are My Lady’. But also ‘Have You Ever Loved Somebody’ and the Quite Stormy ‘Do Me Again’. Even though he made the proof as to how he could groove too on ‘Nice ‘N Slow’. Not to mention the memorable ‘Crazy For Me’.
Years have gone since this flourishing period for him. But Jackson has always managed to come up with quality material from a decade to another. 2014 seeing him makin’ his debut for Climax Entertainment with ‘Love & Satisfaction’. Then eventually releasing its follow-up – ‘One Night’ – by the beginning of May 2017. Then ‘Without You’ in April 2018. With an album – ‘Love Signals’ – obviously still in the pipeline…