All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

405

Jessica Jones Live at Bowery Poetry Club, NYC

By

Sign in to view read count
Her voice reached towards the sky and clawed at the gutter simultaneously
Jessica Jones Quartet Featuring Candace Jones
Bowery Poetry Club
New York, New York
July 13, 2008

The first notes of Candace Jones' voice hit me like a tornado. Sure, they were sung softly, but that did not lessen their impact. I smiled to myself. So much beauty in the world.
Saxophonist-composer-bandleader Jessica Jones and her band/family (more on that later) invaded the Bowery Poetry Club on July 13 under the guise of a show celebrating the release of Jessica's newest record, Word, an album rife with experimentation in the combining of poetry and jazz (po' jazz). What resulted was a showcase for daughter Candace and the power, grace, beauty, and humor of her voice. The entire midsection of the show was devoted to the younger Jones, belting many of her mother's compositions as well as a few standards. > The band included three Joneses (Jessica and husband Tony on twin tenor saxophones along with Candace) backed by a rhythm section of Ken Filiano (bass) and James Windsor-Wells (drums). Mark Taylor joined the group sparingly on various wind instruments. The abovementioned first song was Rodgers & Hart's "My Romance," which started out innocently enough. But after those first few notes, sung by Candace sans accompaniment, her voice reached towards the sky and clawed at the gutter simultaneously. As the notes got higher, her voice, it seemed, became more powerful.
Subsequent songs seemed to encompass Candace's entire teen life. Each tune was prefaced by: "Jessie wrote this one for me when I was 13"; or "Jessie wrote this one for me when I was 19 and had just had a bad breakup," etc. Maybe that's why the vocalist was able to sing them with such gusto. But regardless of the source of her inspiration, she ran the gamut from sultry and seductive to emotional and powerful, from wryly humorous to deeply disturbing. Moreover, she wore her emotions on her face, giving every note a purpose.

Jessica's compositions provided perfect vehicles for Candace's chops. Many of them snakelike in their twists and turns, the five songs had the musical-emotional weight of ten. Jessica, though a saxophonist by trade, eschewed the horn in favor of keyboards for most of Candace's songs, choosing to stay in the background while giving her daughter the spotlight. And Candace made the most of the opportunity, easily stepping into the role of star of the show.

After Candace's performance, the stage was left without a vocalist during an instrumental interlude as the audience caught its collective breath. Soon, however, the band was joined by poet Abe Maneri, whose spoken word provided a reassuring counterpoint to the band's pointillist ruminations. He and the band were obviously in synch, as his voice rose and fell in sympathy with the ebb and flow of the underlying music.

But the prize of the night was most certainly Candace. While the accompaniment was often amateurish and disjointed, the vocalist was able to command attention so completely that the audience noticed only her compelling vocals. She is admittedly comparatively "raw," given her enormous potential, but if she can sing so effectively on the basis of inherent talent, one can only anticipate the masterful performances that experience and training are certain to bring.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
  • Word by Michael P. Gladstone
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Moxie

Moxie

New Artists Records
2015

buy
Live at the Freight

Live at the Freight

New Artists Records
2012

buy
Word

Word

New Artists Records
2008

buy
Nod

Nod

New Artists Records
2004

buy
Jessica Jones Quartet: Nod

Jessica Jones...

New Artists Records
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: June 13, 2018
Read Le French May’s Live Jazz Series in Hong Kong Live Reviews
Le French May’s Live Jazz Series in Hong Kong
by Rob Garratt
Published: June 11, 2018
Read Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art Live Reviews
Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 10, 2018
Read Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar Live Reviews
Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar
by Barry Witherden
Published: June 10, 2018
Read Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 2018
Read Vision Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Vision Festival 2018
by John Sharpe
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "Stick Men at Havana" Live Reviews Stick Men at Havana
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "Lila Downs at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn" Live Reviews Lila Downs at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn
by Ernest Barteldes
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "36th International Tampere Jazz Happening" Live Reviews 36th International Tampere Jazz Happening
by John Ephland
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Michael Lington At Blue Note Napa" Live Reviews Michael Lington At Blue Note Napa
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Jazz Jantar 2017" Live Reviews Jazz Jantar 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: December 21, 2017