Taking his jazz compositions to clubs here and abroad and rocking mainstream tunes before an audience of millions, Jacob Deaton has picked his way to becoming a multi-genre artist that is worth noting. The versatile guitarist enjoyed a new high of success in 2014, buoyed by new compositions and live performances showcasing his skills across multiple styles.
The Atlanta-based artist is fresh off a tour in Ireland and a semifinal appearance on NBC’s AMERICA’S GOT TALENT with headman Jonah Smith. With that momentum in the books, all that’s left is what a promising 2015 has in store.
“This past year has been a banner year for many reasons,” Deaton says. “I’ve had the opportunity to play a historic venue in Radio City Music Hall several times to 14 million people nationally and internationally. I’ve worked for some of my favorite songwriters alive today, and have toured overseas with my own music and connected with fans in other countries. I’m humbled by the opportunities. And I’m ready for more in 2015.”
Deaton’s ongoing stint with Smith, a Los Angeles-based blues-rocker, follows a bevy of appearances with some of the top jazz artists today. The Atlanta-based artist’s stage credits also include Grammy-winners Derek Trucks and Oteil and Kofi Burbridge, James Brown alum Pee Wee Eliis, Colonel Bruce Hampton, Russell Gunn, and Grant Green, Jr.
His recent success has broadened his portfolio — and the records that came before, “Tribulation” (2012) and “My Home” (2014), helped establish him as a selfless bandleader and one of the most inventive and sound guitarists on the rise today.
“Playing musical prospector searching for that gold nugget can be a daunting task. Deaton makes it easy,” Jazz Times says.
Most importantly, he’s making it exciting.
Jacob proudly endorses these fine products:
What’s most arresting about My Home is the way each song possesses a quality of inevitability, that no matter how far Jacob Deaton & the Tribulation Band wander off from the melody, they’ll always return to it… and often. ~Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm - Full Review
Jacob Deaton, virtuoso guitarist and Atlanta native, has assembled an energetic quintet for his debut, Tribulations. The five gig together regularly in and around their hometown, building the strong camaraderie they exhibit here, yet each has his own, unique voice. This makes the group sound like a dynamic entity in its own right, not merely the sum of specific efforts. It helps that Deaton’s originals are constructed to allow for maximal individual expression.~Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz
Jacob Deaton’s debut offering Tribulation has the springiness of John Coltrane, the harmonious flow of Charlie Parker, and the nocturnal ethers of Thelonious Monk. Deeply engrossed in the music, Deaton and his band revitalizes straight ahead jazz with a contemporary glint and a touch of adult-pop fare.~Susan Frances, Yahoo! – Full Review
The first thing you notice when this album starts is its hard-edged bop-swing, and the competitive nature of the guitar and alto sax. Led by guitarist Jacob Deacon Tribulation is a collection of six original pieces, all of which showcase the hard approach of the band to its take on jazz. The music is very muscular, tightly focused and with a forward thrust matching that of the original Batmobile. All five musicians form one musical creature. Tribulation has originality in spades.~John Peters, The Borderland
Original, fresh and worth a serious listen, Jacob Deaton delivers his freshman release entitled “Tribulation”. This crisp, clean, frontal attack gives us a tease of Mr. Deaton’s talents with his six track EP that leaves the listener begging for more.~Bruce Pulver, Jazz Times – Full Review
If I received more jazz albums like the one I have here, my world would be so much better. Knowing Deaton is the actual leader of these sessions, I had to concentrate on him and expect that he was going to let it rip and show off his playing. He does, and he’s wicked without being too show off-y, if that makes any sense. In other words, it’s controlled, he knows how to play and get into all of the corners and pockets, but get out of there to allow the music and song to breathe and continue on its source.~John Book, This is Books Music – Full Review
There are a million unknown guitarists spread throughout this country…Jacob Deaton just happens to be one of the good ones. Playing musical prospector searching for that gold nugget can be a daunting task, Deaton makes it easy. Tribulation is a stellar debut release for this Indiana native and Atlanta resident and proves you don’t necessarily have to go to New York to make a name for yourself.~Brent Black, Critical Jazz – Full Review
Atlanta guitarist Jacob Deaton assembles an energetic quintet for a convincing run through six original compositions on his debut release Tribulation. Deaton solos with a straight-ahead, swinging edge, at once alluring and laid-back. His single-note lines and chordal runs on “Hoexter’s Hex” stand out as a disc highlight. Alto saxophonist Akeem Marable and pianist Nick Rosen are impressive on the up-tempo title track and drummer Justin Chesarek, who exhibits a wide dynamic range, creates a quiet intensity on the waltz “Major Differences.” Bassist Craig Shaw provides rock solid accompaniment, driving home “Eclipse,” Deaton’s take on Miles Davis’ “Solar.” All in all, an impressive release of high energy jazz from these dedicated Atlanta cats.~John Barron, The Jazz Word
Jacob Deaton is jazz guitarist based in Atlanta, Georgia. On Tribulation Jacob is joined by Akeem Marable (alto saxophone), Nick Rosen (piano), Craig Shaw (bass), and Justin Chesarek (drums). There’s a great deal of spontaneous improvisation going on in these cuts as these guys drive their way through six provocative tracks. Deaton’s fluid sassy guitar work is often highlighted but he by no means hogs the spotlight…all of the instruments are featured prominently. Tribulation is slick and sultry…and ultimately delivers top notch material that should appeal to a wide cross section of jazz lovers. Kickass cuts include “Tribulation,” “Eclipse,” “Sharp Edges,” and “Sketches of Trane.” Top pick.~Don Seven, LMNOP Magazine
Like all the best bandleaders, Mr. Deaton doesn’t take all the solos for himself, they are spread evenly across the band, and you have to admit that he chose his musicians well. There is quite a creative spark going on here, with all the musicians bringing something to the table. The music is very muscular, tightly focused and with a forward thrust matching that of the original Batmobile. All five musicians form one musical creature. Tribulation has originality in spades.~John Peters, The Borderland
Atlanta guitarist Jacob Deaton began the year with a new album—his first one, in fact—and makes a good initial impression. These six songs, all Deaton’s, vary in tempo in mood but the common thread throughout them all is that they are crisp post-bop with simple melodies and advanced harmonies. This leader allows a lot of running room for pianist Nick Rosen and alto saxophonist Akeem Marable (Craig Shaw is on bass and Justin Chesarek mans the drums). Deaton’s plays his guitar with a bias for playing quality, not quantity, notes, and a warm tone with just a touch of vinegar makes those notes sound good. The “stretch” tracks are the bookend ones, “Tribulation” and “Sketches of Trane” (Youtube below), where Deaton, Marable and Rosen light it up with sequential solos. But it’s not all hot licks; the relaxed groove of “Hoexter’s Hex” shows off Deaton to craft a intricate tune with a lot of soul.~Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews
I’ve been listening to these seven H-O-T tunes/compositions from Jacob ever since the promoter sent them in (early February 2012), and that (in itself) says something… his jazz guitar work is among the best I’ve heard this year, especially on tunes like the closer, “Sketches Of Trane“… one of the best things about Jacob’s playing style is that there is no “rush”… no muscling in to “take over” the music – he’s well-versed and totally talented (in the view of my ears, anyway), & so doesn’t have any need to overwhelm – but he DOES, I can tell you! Another excellent track (of the 6 offered) was the bouncy exuberance on “Eclipse“… he’s helped along by alto sax from Akeem Marable, superb piano by Nick Rosen, beautiful bass work from Craig Shaw and full-bore drumming from Justin Chesarek, and they’re truly together! I’m highly impressed, & you will be too… I give these folks a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. (I can tell you now – you WILL be hearing much more from this talented young gent).~Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation
Guitarist Jacob Deaton leads a fusion band with Akeem Marable (sax), Nick Rosen (p), Craig Shaw (b) and Justin Chesarek (d). Jacob wrote all of the music but shares the stage with his band mates. Marable wails on the title track and Rosen swings on “Hoexter’s Hex” to balance the attack. All six selections are good and Deaton performs well when calls his own number.~D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz Magazine
Deaton – smokin’ presentation, amazing sax & piano.
~Bruce Tepper, KVMR Nevada City, CA.
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