Monday, July 8, 2013

Oliver Jones Just For My Lady Justin Time 2013

The Canadian counterpart to the great Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones is the epitome of artistic consistency and old school elegance. A true national treasure of Canada.

Oliver Jones has been around the block a time or two. To be more precise, jazz has taken Jones all around the world including a tour of Nigeria which was the subject of a 1990 National Film Board of Canada documentary. Oliver Jones has now released his first full fledged studio recording for the wonderful Canadian label Justin Time in thirty years. Just For My Lady focuses on the harmonious union of the Jones trio which includes bassist Eric Lagace and drummer Jim Doxas. A very special guest is violinist Josee Aidans whose lyrical flow and harmonic texture push the trio to new heights of elegance and swing that comes from a rich color palette and individual freedom that is the wheelhouse of the Jones trio.

It was only a few short years ago that Jones had expressed the intention to retire when the previously mentioned Peterson is reported to have told him that a jazzman never retires till he passes away. Judging from the remarkable collection of Jones compositions as well as some select covers from Peterson, Michel Legrand and George Gershwin it is well apparent that Jones has plenty of gas left in the tank at 79 years young.

Violinist Aidans is right at home on the opening Jones number, "Josee's Blues." An infectious swing tune with layers of texture that for a small ensemble work magically well with the shifting harmonics and driving groove that Jones lays down. "Just For My Lady" is a slightly more melancholy ballad that is again rich in flavor and subtle nuances including the finesse of the brushwork from drummer Jim Doxas. With a deft touch from the left hand and a strong and steady comp work coming from the right, Oliver Jones is one of the best kept secrets in jazz today.

Perfect recordings are few and far between but for what is essentially a piano trio, it simply does not get better than this.

Tracks: Josee's Blues; You Look So Good To Me; Lights of Burgundy; The Angel and Mr. Jones; The Saskatchewan Suite; Just For My Lady; In The Key of Geoff; When Summer Comes; The Windmills of Your Mind; Lady Be Good.

Personnel: Oliver Jones: piano; Eric Lagace: bass; Jim Doxas: drums.
Special Guest: Josee Aidans.