339

Jonesy: Masquerade - The Dawn Years Anthology

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Jonesy: Masquerade - The Dawn Years Anthology While there's no shortage of progressive music being made today, much of it takes place below the radar, without the support of major labels. During the 1970s, on the other hand, anything seemed possible, and the industry provided considerable exposure to music that's since become marginalized. It's unlikely that bands like King Crimson and Yes would be able to build such large fan bases, were they to emerge today. Still, despite the internet's contribution to a resurgent interest in progressive rock, there are groups that have fallen by the wayside, deserving to be more than a historical footnote.



Formed by Tasmanian-born guitarist/vocalist John Evan-Jones after relocating to England in 1969, Jonesy is one such group, bearing some comparison to Crimson and Yes despite possessing none of the gravitas of Crimson's early albums or Yes' overall bombast. Still, with the pre-synthesizer mellotron—a portable instrument allowing the addition of orchestral and choral textures—a fundamental part of Jonesy's sound, and its often lengthy and episodic compositions, Classic Rock Magazine's description of Jonesy as "The best prog band you've never heard" may be a touch hyperbolic, but still affords Jonesy a fuller due never received at the time.



Masquerade - The Dawn Years Anthology collects the group's first three records, along with an early single and one brief outtake, evidence of another 1970s progressive rock characteristic—surprisingly rapid growth from album-to-album, and over short periods of time. Recorded between May, 1972 and October, 1973, Jonesy not only went from the rock-based, semi-symphonic prog of No Alternative (Dawn, 1972) to the more jazz-informed Growing (Dawn, 1973), but weathered an almost complete personnel change after its first album, leaving Evan-Jones and keyboardist/vocalist Jamie Kaleth as the only members common throughout the entire two-plus hours of music collected here.



While Evan-Jones doesn't have quite the personality of Crimson's Robert Fripp or Yes' Steve Howe, he's no slouch. His reverse-attack solo on the funky but hard-edged "No Alternative" offers a taste of the territory Adrian Belew would mine more visibly a few years later, while his impressive triplet-based arrangement over David Paull's Chris Squire-like bass line on "Pollution" is decidedly in Yes territory, albeit somehow less self-indulgent in tone.



But it was in the band's major shake-up following No Alternative, that Jonesy made a significant shift, notably with the recruitment of electric trumpeter Alan Bown. More sophisticated vocal harmonies and a richer blend of rock, classical, jazz—a touch of soul, even—inform the Rupert Hine-produced Growing. "Jonesy," the album's closer, is closer to fusion free-improv, although with a string arrangement by Simon Jeffes and the group expanded to an octet with guests Bernard Hagley (saxophones), Ken Elliott (keyboards) and Maurice Pert (percussion), it assumes unexpected form over its nearly twelve minutes.



Once again Esoteric Recordings (formerly Eclectic Discs) have rescued a group from obscurity, and given it some well-deserved exposure in a lovingly remastered package with informative liner notes, and archival photos and cover art.


Track Listing: CD1: Ricochet (single edit); Every Day's the Same; No Alternative; Heaven; Mind of the Century; 1958; Pollution; Ricochet; Reprise; Masquerade; Sunset and Evening Star; Preview; Questions and Answers. CD2: Critique (with Exceptions); Duet; Song; Children; Can You Get That Together?; Waltz for Yesterday; Know Who Your Friends Are; Growing; Hard Road; Jonesy.

Personnel: John Evan-Jones: guitar, vocals, VCS3 (CD1#1-9); Jamie Kaleth: mellotron, electric piano (CD1#1-9, CD2#5-10), keyboards (CD1#10-13, CD2#1-4), grand piano (CD1#1-9), acoustic piano (CD2#5-10), vocals (CD1#1-9), lead vocals (CD1#10-13, CD2); David Paull: bass guitar (CD1#1-9), vocals (CD1#1-9); Jim Payne: drums and percussion (CD1#1-9); Alan Bown: electric trumpet (CD1#10-13, CD2), electric flugelhorn (CD1#10-13, CD2), percussion (CD1#10-13, CD2#1-4); Gypsy Jones: electric bass (CD1#10-13, CD2), recorders (CD1#10-13, CD2#1-4), lead vocals (CD1#10-13, CD2); Richard "Plug" Thomas: drums and percussion (CD1#10-13, CD2), vocals (CD1#10-13, CD2#1-4); Bernard Hagley: electric saxes (CD2#5-10); Ken Elliott: clavinet (CD2#5-10), ARP 2600 (CD2#5-10), Appetite (CD2#5-10); Maurice Pert: percussion (CD2#5-10).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Esoteric Recordings | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Chasing Pixies" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing Pixies
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "I Can Do All Things" CD/LP/Track Review I Can Do All Things
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Sektion 1-2" CD/LP/Track Review Sektion 1-2
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 16, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!