Thursday, November 30, 2017

Paul Jones with Leon Boykins and Rajiv Jayaweera (2017)

Hailed as a “force to be reckoned with” (StepTempest), saxophonist and composer Paul Jones is creating his own brand of unique and stylized jazz and is an in demand sideman in the US and abroad. With a singing yet dark toned saxophone coloring Paul creates music that is based in the history of jazz and classical music while infusing elements from the modern pop aesthetic. Making music that is challenging and complex while remaining attainable as a simple song is the crux behind Paul’s musical world. “Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple” (Charles Mingus).

Short History, his recent debut album as a leader, received a four star rating from Downbeat Magazine; the recording was noted for showcasing his melodic yet gutsy playing while highlighting his individual harmonic stylings and varied literary and musical influences. “Jones and his ensemble shift moods with throttle-forward speed, revealing so many musical possibilities right off the bat that the listener gets the impression that anything can happen” (Downbeat).

Short History opens sparsely with tenor saxophone and piano improvising over the original ballad Women, inspired by the Charles Bukowski novel. As the band begins to fill in the space around the tonal theme this playing continues and does so in both covers (I Could Write a Book and Hey, It’s Me You’re Talking To) plus original tunes. They display why Mr. Jones is noted as having “creativity up to his eyeballs” (Midwest Review). Released through Blujazz Publications, Short History features the front line of Alex LoRe on alto saxophone, Matt Davis on guitar, Sullivan Fortner on piano, Johannes Felscher on bass, and Jimmy Macbride on drums.

In NYC, Paul has performed at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, St. Peter’s Church, The Kitano, Tea Lounge, Shapeshifter Lab, Café Vivaldi, Highline Ballroom, and Rockwood Music Hall. In the fall of 2014 he was a finalist in the Julius Keilwerth Saxophone Idol Competition where he performed alongside Ernie Watts at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago. Paul regularly collaborates and has recorded with Matt Davis’ band Aerial Photograph, Nicky Schrire Plus 4, Leon Boykins’ Interval Songs, Jonathan Parker’s The Interloper, Ryan Khun’s Circle, and Yuki Shibata’s Come and Go.

Internationally Paul has been featured at Ronnie Scott’s and the Library Club in London. With Aerial Photograph Paul performed at the Contemporary Music Institute in Zhuhai, China, at many of the prominent jazz venues in Seoul, South Korea such as Club Evans, and at the Jarasum Jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in Asia. Through Amsterdam Conservatory’s Keep an Eye on Jazz program Paul was a featured performer at the famed Bimhuis.

Interested in many styles of music, Mr. Jones’ pop career has also been quite active. He recently recorded with Sebastian Kole for Motown Records, Ryan Leslie of Universal Records, and Eli “Paperboy” Reed for Capitol Records. As a member of Eli “Paperboy” Reed’s Trueloves, Paul performed at festivals and clubs across 35 states, Canada, and Europe, including Lollapalooza, South by South West, and the Beale Street Music Festival. Paul regularly collaborates and has recorded with the Uptown Partydown, Brett Ferguson, Tory Hanna, The Jack Moves, Adam Lasher, and St. Lucia.

As a teacher Paul imparts his passion for learning to his students by using music as a tool to help them grow as individuals and achieve in whatever field they choose. Paul has taught privately at CenterStage, Harrison School of Music, Needham Music, PS-290, and the Rye Arts Center. During the summer he has taught courses in music theory, improvisation, music history, and lead ensembles at camp Encore Coda in Sweden, Maine.

Internationally, Paul has given masterclasses at the Contemporary Music Institute in Zhuhai, China and the Gimcheon School of the Arts in Korea.

Today, Paul makes his home in New York City where he has reoccurring performances at the Bar Next Door and the Cornelia Street Café. Active members of Paul’s bands include Henry Cole, Phil Markowitz, Fransico Mela, Sam Miniae, Yasushi Nakamura, Clarence Penn, Marcelo Pellitieri, Peter Slavov, Colin Stranahan, and Glenn Zaleski. Paul holds degrees from Berklee College of Music and Manhattan School of Music (MSM). Some of Paul's teachers have included Charlie Banacos, Hal Crook, Gary Dial, George Garzone, Tony Malaby, Phil Markowitz, Donny McCaslin, and Steve Wilson. While at MSM Paul had the opportunity to perform alongside Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, and Joe Lovano.

Upcoming plans include releasing a suite for jazz quartet based on Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major and Gaspard de la nuit, plus a studio album of original songs based on continuing Paul’s process of turning words into melodies, and a live album recorded at the Bar Next Door. 

1. You're My Everything 06:28
2. Simone 07:37
3. Central Park West 05:01
4. E.S.P. 06:38
5. The Process 05:25
6. Serenity 04:56
7. Winter's Song 07:03

Paul Jones - tenor sax and compositions
Leon Boykins - bass
Rajiv Jayaweera - drums

All audio and artwork by Paul Jones