JONES Inez 1957

In 1993 on U.S. TV there was a documentary about couples who had been together or married for a very long time. One pair was singer-pianist Inez Jones and her husband, Paul Jones, a sax player. They lived in Oakland, California in touching genteel poverty. They sat in their rundown kitchen, he played a wobbly but credible sax, and she sang and played. Alternately they reminisced about their life together and the Kansas City jazz scene where they both began their professional careers. At the peak of her popularity in the 1950's she played the posh Fairmont Hotel in SF.
Both Joneses are now deceased but the large plot of land where their house once stood in Oakland, California is now the "Paul and Inez Jones Neighborhood Garden", a gorgeous place of flowers, food, butterflies and birds for residents in the area to enjoy.
Inez Jones wasn't much appreciated beyond the San Francisco area where she did most of her gigging. She had a light, straightforward melodic voice similar to one of her contemporaries, Maxine Sullivan. She was equally at home with ballads and lightly swinging material, and liked to surprise with dips at the end of a line, such as on a lovely "Moonlight in Vermont". Another benefit of this album is the subtle piano playing of Wiggins, as on "Sweet Lorraine". These sessions come from those days when there were still clubs and lounges where a singer with a small group could get a gig. They simply brought the way they performed in these places into the studio. The result is some settled, relaxed playing by knowledgeable, consummate artists of their trade.


"Moonlight in Vermont" is a must to listen ! Inez Jones vocal, Oscar Moore guitar, Carl Perkins piano, Curtis Counce bass, Bill Douglass drums. What a band!

The CD compiles two Oscar Moore sessions from 1957 and 1965. For the first ten tracks, Moore backs singer Inez Jones. The remaining tracks are with his trio featuring Gerald Wiggins and Joe Comfort. These recordings have somewhat of a checkered history. Originally produced on Omega Tape by tape pioneer Dave Hubert and then licensed by Riverside, they pretty much disappeared from sight until revived by the Spanish label Fresh Sound. How they came into their possession is anybody's guess. Sparsely amplified and allowing enough space between chords to permit the listener to absorb what's being played, Oscar Moore's clean-lined guitar playing, which always paid attention to the melody line, made him instantly recognizable when he was a member of the Nat King Cole Trio. Semi-retired just before these albums were made, he was running a gas station, but was lured away from the pumps to participate in these recordings.

1 comment:

afroquarius said...

Her voice is so soulful! And her take on "Moonlight in Vermont" is beautiful, but "Where or When" is my favorite. Too bad, Inez Jones seems to be one of those one-album only people who had enough talent to at least span a decade or two....