Nights At The Roundtable - Jackson Heights, the band formed by ex-Nice bassist Lee Jackson in 1970 when The Nice dissolved and Keith Emerson went off to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
November 11, 2010

Jackson Heights - with four albums to their credit they still had a hard time getting arrested.

When noteworthy bands break up and the individual members go their separate ways and form other bands, it's a miracle if they achieve individually what they were able to achieve collectively. And sadly, that was the case with Lee Jackson. Lee Jackson was originally bassist for The Nice. After a decent run of huge success The Nice eventually fell apart and the members split off to form other groups. Aside from Keith Emerson, the others had somewhat dubious accomplishments in the intervening years.

With Lee Jackson it was Jackson Heights, a group he put together with four other musician friends where he switched from bass guitar to 6 and 12 string acoustic and assumed vocals. Since the split with other members of The Nice was somewhat acrimonious, it wasn't that way with the record company (Charisma) and Jackson Heights secured a label deal almost instantly, along with a goodly amount of support. Trouble was, they really weren't all that great. Lee Jackson had a rather weak voice but took the role of lead singer anyway. Their first album King Progress (which tonight's track, the earlier Nice song Cry Of Eugene comes from) was neither a critical or commercial success and the band underwent a series of personnel and direction changes.

Eventually, Lee Jackson would dissolve Jackson Heights, after releasing four albums, and form Refugee with future Yes keyboards Patrick Moraz. But that didn't last long either. Sadly, Jackson's place in musical history has somewhat diminished over time, with Keith Emerson emerging as the sole member of The Nice who went on to a well-established if not legendary career.

Still, there are the efforts and tonight's track is one of those efforts. Lots of promise and a well-regarded song from earlier days. Whether it's stood the test of time is another thing. But then, if you've never heard this before, it's new to you anyway - so why should you care?

Enjoy it for what it is.

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