244

Jessica Jones Quartet: Word

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Jessica Jones Quartet: Word Jazz has always had its own poetry. Not just the music, but the language. Recall hearing Cab Calloway or Louis Armstrong give an introduction from the bandstand or the cadence of Lester Young and Slim Gaillard's words. Jazz has always had its own idiom. It is poetry, and it is easy enough to understand that poetry is/can be jazz.



The combination of the two is the focus of this Jones family affair. Saxophonist Jessica Jones is joined by her husband and saxophonist Tony Jones, son and bassist Levi Jones and the blossoming talent of vocalist Candace Jones. Word is a two-part conception of music and spoken word and music as sung lyrics.



The described "Side A" is seven tracks featuring the very fresh vocals of Candace Jones, a mix between Ella Fitzgerald and Ricki Lee Jones. She delivers each song in a refreshingly straight manner that allows focusing on the words instead of the style. Other than the standards "Yesterdays" and "My Romance," seven of the album's sung tracks are original compositions. Band leader Jessica Jones wrote and arranged some classic music here, with a nod to Cole Porter's Tin Pan Alley writing on "The Roses," a sweet ballad "Everything Is," and a sly Broadway number with "Come Down The Hall." Between the vocal delivery and lyrics are Tony Jones and ubiquitous drummer Lou Grassi's swinging playing.



The band provides a segue between sung and spoken word with "What Purpose Is Your Pain," giving way to the freer sounds of French hornist Mark Taylor, drummer Kenny Wollesen, bassist Ken Filiano and the two Joneses on tenor saxophones. The ingenious approach reveals the possibilities of not just a band backing a singer, but the voice as instrument.



All this leads to "Side B," the second half of the recording, a poetry reading intertwined with Jessica Jones' jazz. Poets Arisa White and Abe Maneri deliver lines against Jessica Jones' music. White's "Saratoga Avenue" is a dance of words that spill over two horns and keeps splashing with visuals. Likewise Maneri fills the mind with words and thoughts that require—no encourage—repeated plays to get all of his metaphors. The music scores the poetry nicely; as practiced, the verse is delivered as if in song form. As improvising artists they naturally take on a freeform piece with "No Misunderstanding." The open-sided track allows for the poets to trade words as do the musicians' notes, creating both less and more to think about.

Track Listing: Everything Is; Miss Kelly's; The Roses; Yesterdays; My Romance; Come Down The Hall; What Purpose Is Your Pain; Saratoga Avenue; Daddy's Music And Love Talk Talk/Diagnosis Henry; I'm Calling/Two Psalms; Mo Misunderstanding.

Personnel: Candace Jones: vocals; Tony Jones: tenor sax; Jessica Jones: piano, tenor sax (8-12); Dayna Stephens: bass; Lou Grassi: drums; Mark Taylor: French Horn (8-12); Kenny Wollesen: drums (8-12); Ken Filiano: bass (8-12); Levi Jones: bass (11); Arisa White: poetry (8-12); Abe Maneri: poetry (8-12).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: New Artists Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Right Up On CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Wanderlust CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Imagination CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Evolution CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Migration Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Punch" CD/LP/Track Review Punch
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Expanding Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Expanding Heart
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "All Hot Bodies Radiate" CD/LP/Track Review All Hot Bodies Radiate
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: May 26, 2016
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!