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Saturday, September 7, 2013

JC Jones - Citations - Solo Bass (Kadima, 2012) ****

By Stef   

There are musicians who deserve recognition for their music. There are musicians who deserve recognition for their educational role. There are musicians whose passion drives them to set up their own label. There are musicians whose passion drives them to make music change the world. And then there is JC Jones, who does it all. You cannot but respect the man, self-taught, then graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and living in Israel for the last three decades. 

He is the bass-player's best promoter, with numerous records released on his Kadima label by fellow bass-players, such as Joëlle Léandre, Barre Phillips, Tetsu Saitoh, Mark Dresser, Bert Turetzky, Peter Kowald ... the best among the best. 

And now his own solo album, on my desk for quite a while, because it's an album that needs its time and the right atmosphere to favor fully, and these moments are rare. Solo albums have this intimate and vulnerable exposure, in full view of the listener, while at the same time being a personal confrontation for the artist with himself. 

Jones brings us seventeen pieces, ranging between one and five minutes, and of a varying nature. Some are introspective, meditative ("Retro"), other ones are more physical ("Noises", "Equations"), some have overdubs ("OFM"), other ones are plain acoustic, some are quite accessible, other tracks are more exploratory ("15 Bt"), some tracks sound like practice, other ones are gut-wrenching emotional ("Bt Trem", "Here"). It is great, it is excellent, but then each piece is too short, like being unfinished, like a great idea that's created for all of us to think about its possibilities, about what the rest of the story may be, or maybe ideas for other musicians to work on. Or maybe that's it, a short statement each time. This is a collection of short stories, each quite interesting and beautiful by itself, but it's not an odyssey, as the label claims. The epic unified story is probably yet to come. Let's hope so. 

You can listen and buy from CDBaby