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KeyNotes

Artist: Dave Jones

Date of Release: 01/03/2017

Catalogue no: DJT008

Label: DJT

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Sands

8.15

2

 

Blues

7.08

3

 

Afro

6.38

4

 

Funky

5.16

5

 

Departures

7.18

6

 

Latin

6.47

 

 

 

 

This new CD by The Dave Jones Quartet (recorded at Fieldgate Studios in Penarth, Cardiff, using their Fazioli grand piano) has the look of a mini-vinyl record with its 6-face matt-finish CD packaging, featuring 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.”

‘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.”

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).

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).

 

Reviews

 

23/06/2017 Robert Shore (Jazzwise)

Cardiff-based pianist Dave Jones has range. He's toured and recorded internationally, from France to India, and his tunes have featured on TV shows as diverse as 'Location, Location, Location' in the UK, and 'The Big Bang Theory' in the US. His music has gone out to a wide demographic then. On this, his studio quartet follow-up to 'Journeys' (2010) and 'Resonance' (2012), Jones sits at his Fazioli grand piano and leads a fine band of collaborators through six original compositions that, genre-wise, largely fulfil the promise of their titles:'Blues', Afro', 'Funky', 'Latin'. The theme writing is, as you might expect from a successful film and TV composer, memorable, and the playing has a muscular, rolling intensity that puts me in mind of McCoy Tyner. The spontaneity of the improvisation has a live and thoroughly contemporary feel, with Ben Waghorn's tenor and flute work offering a racy, rich fluidity, while Ashley John Long on bass and Lloyd Haines on drums provide taut, inventive rhythmic accompaniment, occasionally augmented by the welcome addition of Long's skittering contributions on vibes.

 

16/04/2017 Mike Collins for London Jazz News

CD REVIEW: The Dave Jones Quartet - Key Notes (DJT008)

Cardiff based pianist Dave Jones has an expansive recording and composing track record, ranging from the Celtic folk -Jazz crossover over of Burum, through film and TV writing, to an armful of recordings under his own name with ensembles large and small. The latest release, Key Notes, is a gem.

Jones has assembled a formidable quartet, all with Cardiff connections despite their national presence, to record a punchy set of six originals. Its no-nonsense jazz, with most of the one word titles signaling what to expect: Blues, Afro,Funky,Latin. Don’t be fooled however; there are plenty of surprises and thrills.

The opener, Sands, entices the listener in. First ghostly, cycling left hand chords; then a yearning repeating melodic fragment, Ben Waghorn’s tenor doubling the piano . Lloyd Haines’ ticking cymbal patterns add to the momentum before a singing, melodic solo from virtuosic bass man Ashley John Long morphs into a headlong burn up and the piano and tenor solos are a swirl of energy before the elegiac hook returns. It’s quite a scene setter. Jones’ writing is one of the stars of the show. He distils ideas down to fragments and lays them out, giving the band space to stretch out and really play. Blues is a series of stabbing exclamations evoking a blistering work out from Waghorn. Afro extracts maximum mileage from a catchy phrase and the multi instrumental talents of the quartet. Waghorn supplies attractively harmonized flute while Long doubles the melody and the rolling bass riff on vibes, before taking the first solo.

The vibes are there again on Funky whilst Jones and Waghorn really dig in. They close the set with Latin , Haines and Long locking together to create an outrageously infectious drive under Jones’ montunos and more fluent and hair raising soloing from Waghorn, back on flute for this one. The playing is high quality all round. Jones, whilst being the leader, ensures this is an ensemble performance giving everyone plenty of space. His own playing is unfailingly dynamic and driving, with light, shade and nuance injecting moments of poetry and reflection.

This studio album has the energy and excitement of a live performance.

 

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