Lost Gem: Sean Jones Gets Soulful with “BJ’s Tune”

Photo courtesy of Mack Avenue Records

 

We’ve all largely been confined to our respective homes for a year now, so I thought I’d take us on a little trip to a place that you can’t find on Google maps. It’s the intersection of  jazz and soul, a richly rewarding spot where some very gifted jazz musicians, including Thad Jones, Grover Washington Jr., Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove and more recently Jamison Ross, have delivered often their most memorable and lasting original compositions.

 

We’ve all largely been confined to our respective homes for a year now, so I thought I’d take us on a little trip to a place that you can’t find on Google maps. It’s the intersection of  jazz and soul, a richly rewarding spot where some very gifted jazz musicians, including Thad Jones, Grover Washington Jr., Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove and more recently Jamison Ross, have delivered often their most memorable and lasting original compositions.

Luckily for us, the sublime trumpeter Sean Jones has also visited that corner. Jones, who is Chair of the Jazz Studies Department of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins, has released 7 albums for the Mack Avenue label, including his latest from 2017, Live from Jazz at the Bistro. That recording magnificently captures Jones and his quartet at the top of their game, and most notably the closer, Jones’s original song “BJ’s Tune,” is a veritable lost gem. Jones’s performance here is breathtakingly soulful; his tone is deep, warm and burnished, his phrasing is bluesy and delightful, and he even takes us to church toward the end when veering ever so seamlessly into “Amazing Grace.”  And the melody, people. The MELODY!  It will linger with you for days. Enjoy the trip!

By Robb Patryk

 

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