If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
Joe Mooney's music has enjoyed something of a rediscovery during the last few years with virtually all his recordings now available. Lush Life (Atlantic, mid-50's) came out a couple of years ago on Koch. Last year the English HEP label reissued his late 40's Decca sessions together with some air checks on a couple of wonderful CD's. This release combines his last two records (Columbia, mid-60's). Personally I wouldn't want to do without any of them.
As a performer Mooney was equal parts vocalist and keyboard player: organ, accordion, and piano in order of preference. He can be seen as part of a tradition that includes Bob Dorough, Blossom Dearie, and the contemporaneous King Cole Trio.
On the first twelve cuts ( The Happiness of ... ) Mooney is backed by rhythm and reeds arranged by Mundell Lowe. The other tunes are by Mooney's classic quartet (with reed, guitar, and bass) plus vibes and whispering drums, both superfluous. Dodgion (flute) and Lowe get a few short solos, but the accompanying musicians mostly stay in the background, professionally reading parts. Lowe's uncluttered reed arrangements with their swinging riffs and clarinet voicings complement the vocals and organ breaks effectively. Mooney's hip lines behind himself especially on organ are always on target.
Mooney's music is notable for humor, swing, good spirits, and surprise. His timing is unmatched. The repertoire here is decent pop tunes of the 60's mixed with earlier vintage standards. Whatever the tune he had a knack for making it his. He overcame trite lyrics and somehow gave them meaning. He would tactfully alter a note here or there, sometimes change words, sometimes shift accents. He would invariably end up with something completely natural sounding and way beyond the original. The ususally stagy, unconvincing "What Kind of Fool Am I" actually makes sense at a bright tempo sung rhetorically with the Mooney touch. He treats Johnny Mandel's "Emily" conversationally over a Latin rhythm with pauses (unnoticeable) The sound is 60's stereo, and it is just fine.
Track Listing: 1. Wait Till You See Her 2. But Beautiful, 3. The Second Time Around, 4. I Wish You Love, 5. Call Me Irresponsible, 6. Nobody Else But Me, 7. Once Upon A Summertime, 8. Lollipops And Roses, 9. This Is All I Ask, 10. What Kind Of Fool Am I, 11. Days Of Wine And Roses, 12. The Good Life, 13. Cute, 14. When I Fall In Love, 15. Emily, 16. You Irritate Me So, 17. I Wonder What Became Of Me, 18. Honeysuckle Rose, 19. Happiness Is You, 20. She's Not For You, 21. I Wanna Be Around, 22. When The World Is At Rest, 23. When Sunny Gets Blue, 24. This Is The Life
Personnel: Joe Mooney - vocal, organ, accordion, piano, arranger; Mundell Lowe - arranger, guitar; Gene Allen, Al Klink, Walt Levinsky, Phil Bodner, Andy Fitzgerald, Don Ashworth, Leon Cohen, Jerry Dodgion - reeds; Gary Burton, Phil Kraus, Joe Venuto - vibes; Barry Galbraith - guitar; George Duvivier - bass; Eddie Shaughnessy - drums.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!