Decoding Society

Ronald Shannon Jackson, drummer extraordinaire, has left us. A sideman for Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler he became an icon for the free jazz movement in the sixties.

Later on he set out to explore further boundaries as the dominant force behind his own Decoding Society and with Sonny Sharrock, Bill Laswell and Peter Brötzmann in the heavy flavoured Last Exit quartet. I will remember Shannon Jackson playing an extended drumsolo, reciting the poem "Puttin' on Dog" by Sterling A. Brown on top. Imagine this on Belgian national television in prime time. Rarely seen ever since.

Photo taken at the Moers 2011 festival by Michael Hoefner

Ronald Shannon Jackson © Michael Hoefner