Saturday, March 4, 2017

UK:The Dave Jones Quartet- Keynotes (2017)

‘KeyNotes’ has a partly new line-up for a very different album to Jones’s previous Quartet studio releases. This time it’s a more open-sounding set – less arranged and without the extra forces of the strings, brass, and additional players (who will return on a future album), with more space for concentrated improvisation by the Quartet. It’s still based on Jones’s tunes – all new ones, composed over the last few years, but it’s a sound that’s closer to the way he’s been playing in other bands and on lots of pick-up jazz gigs, particularly over the last couple of years, and he says “…it’s also closer to some of the jazz that I’ve particularly enjoyed listening to over the decades.”

This new album (recorded at Fieldgate Studios in Penarth, Cardiff, using their Fazioli grand piano) features extensive liner notes by award-winning saxophonist and author Simon Spillett, who describes the album as “…arguably Jones' finest – and to some ears potentially most accessible - outing to date.”

Saxophonist/flautist Ben Waghorn brings to this Quartet his vast experiences from a career playing for NYJO, Tommy Chase, Slowly Rolling Camera and Keith Tippett, to The West End of London as a pit musician, and also various TV and film credits as a session musician. He has also recorded/performed with bands including Goldfrapp, Kasabian and Portishead. “Waghorn reaches peaks of intensity that make one wonder why he continues to remain something of a best-kept secret in British jazz.” (Spillett, 2017).
The Dave Jones Quartet | Keynotes 
Drummer Lloyd Haines was a Yamaha Jazz Scholar in 2013 and has played with John Law, Kevin Figes, and Brandon Allen amongst others, becoming something of a regular at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club. Bassist/vibraphonist Ashley John Long continues to impress with his virtuosic playing, also with John Law and Brandon Allen, and with Geoff Eales, Alan Barnes, and Scott Hamilton, amongst many others (see next page for further press quotes).

Since pianist/composer Dave Jones’ last Quartet studio releases in 2012 and 2010 (the critically acclaimed ‘Resonance’ and ‘Journeys’ albums), he’s released ‘Live at AMG 2014’ and ‘Postscript’ (a duo album with Ashley John Long in 2016). He’s also been touring and recording internationally with other bands in India, France, Ireland, and the UK, and has been composing music specifically for TV and film, having tracks used in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (U.S.), the drama ‘Las Aparicio’ (Mexico), and ‘Location, Location, Location’ (UK).

Further quotes from the ‘KeyNotes’ CD liner notes:

“Listeners wary of original compositions – and with Jones they needn't be – will find that there are enough echoes of things they already love to draw them in. The individual players also walk the line between tradition and individuality with equal success.”

“… just hear how Jones spirals outwards from his spare, melancholy opening theme into a solo that builds a formidable head of steam.”

“Long time Jones associate, Ashley John Long - soloing on both [bass and vibraphone) and managing to sound as if Ron Mathewson and Bobby Hutcherson have magically coalesced as one man.”

“In a land not exactly going short on drum talent, Lloyd Haines is a real discovery. His section work throughout this album is a thing of beauty, as is his always thoughtful soloing…” (Simon Spillett, Jan 2017).

Other press quotes:

“Dave Jones on piano I think is, a terrific player, and he’s clearly studied Herbie Hancock…” (Dr. Ian Smith, BBC Radio 3 'Jazz Now' 2016).

“As a pianist, he swings with the panache of McCoy Tyner…” (Robert Shore, Jazzwise 2012).

"… swinging post-Blue Note tunes that are exemplars of musical logic, integrity and effective variation" (Mark Gilbert, Jazz Journal 2012).