``It's good for me right now,'' Jackson. said ``I'm not playing a lot of notes. It's moods, it's colors. I'd like to give people different sides of me.''
Some of those sides can be found on ``A Look Within,'' his new CD on Blue Note, which contains several originals and tunes by Hank Mobley, Muddy Waters, Frank Zappa and Freddie Hubbard. It also features an appearance by singer Cassandra Wilson.
On the CD, guitarist Fareed Haque handles the load usually carried by the piano. And the result is pleasantly distinctive, especially when Haque plays the sitar-guitar.
``The music reflects some of the things I'm into,'' Jackson said. ``I appreciate Brazilian and traditional music, so we just incorporated them.''
The guitar is another kind of chordal support, ``but the sound is so different'' Jackson said. And this combination isn't new, he said: Tenor Sonny Rollins and Jim Hall did the same thing.
As a former member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and the Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, Jackson has played in the extreme realms of jazz. ``Blakey had structure, whereas Charlie had a lot of freedom,'' said Jackson. But Haden's free-form approach was very challenging.
``I'm going to keep working at it,'' he said.