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Resonance.

Artist: Dave Jones

Date of Release: 08/06/2012

Catalogue no: DJT005

Label: DJT

Price: £11

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

The Metro

8.41

2

 

Welsh Rarebit

6.28

3

 

Afro Celtic

4.26

4

 

5 to 3 on Friday

7.47

5

 

Wexford Tune

4.38

6

 

Pushkin's Lament

6.37

7

 

Ubermog

6.10

 

 

 

 

‘Resonance’ represents Jones’ most ambitious and eclectic collection of compositions and arrangements to date, his regular working band now expanded from Trio to Quartet with the addition of award winning multi-instrumentalist Lee Goodall (saxes, flute and guitar), and making more extensive use of the guest horns and strings that appeared on ‘Journeys’ (2010), whilst successfully blending elements of jazz, folk and other musical styles.

The compositions were inspired in part by Jones’ collaboration with drummer Kevin Lawlor, where they worked with Lee Goodall and Ashley John Long to each compose new material which was premiered on a tour of Arts Centres in Ireland in April 2011.'Resonance’ includes several of Jones’ tunes from that collaboration, together with his other more recent compositions, and a new arrangement with horns of ‘Welsh Rarebit’ (from ‘Impetus’, 2008).

The Dave Jones Quartet (Jones, Goodall and Long, with Lloyd Haines and Lawlor sharing the drum tracks) are joined on ‘Resonance’ by guests Gethin Liddington (lead trumpet) and a horn section including Gareth Roberts and Tomos Williams, and also The Mavron Quartet (strings).

 

Reviews

 

01/11/2012 Mark Gilbert, Jazz Journal profile

The quotes below are taken from editor Mark Gilbert's profile of Dave Jones from the Nov 2012 issue of Jazz Journal:

"he imbues the familiar with freshness
by dint of sheer musicality and melodic gift"

"a set dominated by swinging post-Blue Note tunes that are
exemplars of musical logic, integrity and effective variation, aided in no small part by the similarly well sculpted work of saxophonist Lee Goodall"

"Dave Jones’s melodic and narrative gifts
can be heard in abundance on Resonance
(DJT005)"

 

21/09/2012 Trevor Hodgett, 'R2' magazine (Sept/Oct issue)

'Resonance', his fourth album, features Welsh jazz pianist Dave Jones on a programme of thematically strong original compositions that are expertly played by core accompanists, Lee Goodall (saxes, flute), Ashley John Long (bass) and, variously, Lloyd Haines and Kevin Lawlor (drums), and assorted distinguished guests.

Jones is a gifted melodist. The sturdy melody of 'Afro Celtic' and the lovely, effervescent melody of 'Wexford Tune', for example, sound somewhat like traditional folk tunes, and the melody of 'The Metro' is positively entrancing. The musicianship also delights. On 'Welsh Rarebit' Tomos Williams's melancholy trumpet is beautiful and the track also features marvellously swinging piano from Jones himself, while Goodall's eloquent flute adorns 'Pushkin's Lament', a tenderly played, lyrical ballad.

The Mavron Quartet, a classical string quartet, are used to subtle effect on several tracks, their re-entry towards the end of 'The Metro' being utterly disarming. The final track, 'Ubermog', is weirdly anomalous, but refreshingly so, with the quartet sounding like a totally different band, for this is in rock or even prog rock territory with Jones pumping out funky Hammomd organ licks and Goodall - otherwise a saxophonist and flautist - rocking out on heavily distorted electric guitar.

 

30/07/2012 Duncan Heining, Jazz UK

Dave Jones' Quartet's 'Resonance' reveals musical growth, with several cuts utilising the Mavron String Quartet to first-rate effect and Jones' use of an expanded front line, for example on 'Pushkin's Lament', showing some real skill. Jones is developing into a very interesting composer.

 

29/07/2012 Phil Johnson, The Independent on Sunday

"There's a lightly stepping, cinematic charm to pianist Jones's outstanding compositions here, especially those featuring the Mavron String Quartet.

The catchy opener, "The Metro", could be the score to a stylish French thriller, while "5 to 3 on Friday" suggests 1960s social realism".

N.B. See the IoS 29/07/2012 for the full review.

 

26/07/2012 Chris Parker (London Jazz blogspot)

Dave Jones Quartet - Resonance (DJT005)

His “Journeys” trio now augmented by multi-instrumentalist Lee Goodall, Dave Jones has produced a characteristically attractive, wholly accessible album in Resonance, the music on it, as is usual with the Port Talbot pianist/composer, made up of relatively straightforward, often riff-based original material, played with panache and pep by a band completed by regulars Ashley John Long (bass) and Lloyd Haines (drums), the latter replaced on three tracks by Kevin Lawler.

The strings of the Mavron Quartet and – on other pieces – a brass section join Jones’s quartet on three tracks each, and bring welcome textural variety to the mix, but the album’s immediacy and power are derived from the uncomplicated directness of the compositions, which call to mind both Spirit Level in their heyday and (occasionally) McCoy Tyner’s immediately post-Coltrane output.

Goodall fires off cogent solos on both soprano and tenor, and his one-track contributions on flute and guitar are also telling, the latter in particular bringing the album to a rousing climax by perfectly complementing Jones’s feisty Hammond organ. Jones communicates most effectively in live performances, but this unpretentiously enjoyable album is the next best thing.

 

20/07/2012 Robert Shore, Jazzwise magazine Aug 2012

"As a pianist, he swings with the panache of McCoy Tyner on the likes of 'Welsh Rarebit', but allows space for equally characterful contributions from trumpet, trombone and flugelhorn on the same tune and 'Pushkin's Lament' (Robert Shore).

N.B. See Jazzwise Aug 2012 for the full review.

 

30/06/2012 Ian Mann

Based in Port Talbot the Welsh pianist and composer Dave Jones has received considerable praise from the London jazz press cognoscenti, notably Chris Parker, for his excellent albums “Impetus” (2009) and Journeys (2010). The first of these was an accomplished piano trio date recorded with brothers Chris O’ Connor (bass) and Mark O’ Connor (drums). The album demonstrated that Jones was not only a talented pianist but also a first rate composer capable of coming up with inventive and memorable themes.

“Journeys” was a more ambitious project that featured a core trio of bassist Ashley John Long and drummer Lloyd Haines with some tracks given extra colour by horn players Gareth Roberts (trombone), Tomos Williams (trumpet) and Lee Goodall (reeds) . The recording also included tasteful string arrangements featuring The Mavron String Quartet. Jones’ compositions were richly textured, melodic and swinging, often highly descriptive and with a great sense of place with the composer taking inspiration from his travels to the USA and elsewhere.

“Resonance” builds on the success of the acclaimed “Journeys” and features a very similar line up with Long and Haines joined full time by Goodall to form a core quartet. Roberts, Williams and the Mavrons also return and there is an additional instrumental voice in the form of trumpet/flugel player Gethin Liddington who doubles up with Williams on a couple of the selections. On three tracks Haines is replaced by Irish drummer Kevin Lawlor, these pieces being the result of a collaboration between Jones and Lawlor that toured the Arts Centre circuit in Ireland in April 2011. There were also a couple of club dates in Wales too.

Although self released Jones’ albums are recorded to a high professional standard at Goodall’s Oakfield studio near Newport with Jones and Goodall acting as co-producers. The packaging is also similarly classy.

The new album kicks off with “The Metro” in an arrangement that includes Goodall on sax and the strings of the Mavron Quartet (Christiana Mavron-violin, Katy Rowe-violin, Niamh Ferris-viola and Lucy Simmonds-cello). The piece begins with the sound of pizzicato strings subsequently joined by piano, bass and drums before Goodall picks out the appealing folk like melody on soprano saxophone as the Mavrons reach for their bows. Goodall’s later solo sees him probing further into the harmonies of the piece. Jones own solo is flowing and lyrical with Long’s resonant bass and Haines’ crisply brushed drums constituting appropriately sympathetic accompaniment. The piece ends with a restatement of the theme with Goodall and the strings again assuming prominence. It’s a beguiling start to the album and a good demonstration of Jones’ superior arranging skills. The Mavrons sound like an essential component of the music rather than just being “bolted on”, something that often occurs when jazz musicians collaborate with classical players.

“Welsh Rarebit” was composed as far back as 2004 and later appeared in trio form on the “Impetus” album. The new arrangement features the horn section of Roberts, Williams and Liddington, indeed the latter played on the tune in its earliest incarnations. The three brass players are among Wales’ leading exponents on their respective instruments and they add depth and colour to Jones’ tune with Goodall taking the first solo on tenor sax, followed by Jones, here swinging more forcefully at the piano. There’s a trumpet solo but I’m not going stick my neck out with regard to who it’s actually by! In any event the tune is a winner, bringing something of the Blue Note sound to South Wales.

“Afro Celtic” sounds nothing like Afro Celt Sound System but does team folk melodies with African style rhythms. Goodall appears on flute and the Mavrons are at their most folky. Jones takes the first solo followed by Goodall on flute. There’s a simple joyousness about this piece that instantly charms the listener. Oh yes, and Long’s opening bass riff is naggingly familiar.

“5 to 3 on Friday” was written specifically for the project with Lawlor, who takes over the drum stool here. The tune has an airy warmth expressed by Goodall’s lush,fruity tenor sax and the cushioning strings of the Mavron Quartet. Long impresses with the depth and richness of his tone on a rare bass solo and Lawlor’s subtly brushed drumming is full of delightful small details.

Lawlor remains in situ for “Wexford Time”, the second tune written for the Cymric/Irish collaboration. The arrangement brings back the horns and the folk tinged melody acts as the basis for pithy solos from Roberts on trombone, Williams on trumpet and Goodall on soprano. There’s also some accomplished ensemble playing in yet another fine example of Jones’ arranging abilities.

Jones dedicates the last two pieces on the record to “the memory of an irreplaceable old friend”, which I suspect is probably feline. The first of these, Pushkin’s Lament” is a languid ballad performance highlighting the velvet tones of Liddington on flugel horn. Roberts and Williams add an extra warmth to the ensemble sound and Haines returns to the drum stool. Solos come from Liddington, Goodall on smoky tenor and Long, dexterous and expressive on the bass.

The final item, “Ubermog”, is very different to the rest of the album, a high octane funk/rock workout which sees Jones switching to Hammond organ and multi instrumentalist Goodall to guitar as Lawlor reclaims the drum chair. It’s hugely enjoyable with Jones relishing the chance to rock out at the Hammond as Goodall produces some wonderfully dirty and fuzzed up sounds on guitar and Long wigs out on similarly weird and unhinged arco bass, the whole thing powered by Lawlor’s crisp drumming. There’s a prog rock/jam band feel to the piece that certainly appeals to me and although it’s all rather at odds to the rest of the music scheduling it last so as not to interrupt the mood and flow of the rest of the album is absolutely right. It’s actually rather splendid, maybe Jones should consider a whole album in this vein.

It had been my intention to check out Jones’s septet (the core quartet plus Roberts, Williams and cellist Lucy Simmonds) playing this music at Cardiff’s Café Jazz on 29th June 2012. However the flash flooding that hit the Midlands earlier in the day discouraged us from travelling. Having been caught up in the floods in the morning we didn’t fancy a repeat performance and decided that discretion was the better part of valour. Apologies to Dave for not making it, I seem fated to miss out on ever seeing him displaying his skills on a proper grand piano.

In the meantime there’s always this album to enjoy, a carefully crafted recording that features Jones’ melodic, intelligent writing and arrangements plus some excellent playing from all the members of the ensemble. It’s a worthy addition to an increasingly impressive catalogue and, like its predecessors, deserves to be widely appreciated by the national jazz audience.

 

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