Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The supple and sweet Montreal pianist wows 'em in this vintage 1990 concert recorded in Baden, Switzerland.  Unreleased until now, it's a brilliant performance by the under-praised Jones, smooth and perfect on yet another night.  His trio that night included Reggie Johnson on bass and fellow Canuck Ed Thigpen on drums.

Jones gives a bit of everything, from classics to blues to gospel to Gershwin, some originals and of course, some Oscar.  The more I hear Jones, the more I wonder if he'd lived in another city, would his star have shined brighter, without Peterson ahead of him.  Hearing his confident, rapid work, with total comfort on the keys, no sloppiness, all action all the time, I marvel at the skill and dexterity.  Yet there's not an ounce of vanity here.  He's in love with the music, and realizes the audience wants to hear such accomplishments as much as he wants to play them.

This is positive, bright, joyful material, with Jones' runs up the higher octaves dominating much of the show.  That delightful tinkling might be too showbiz for post-bop and beyond, but to me its ear candy.  I actually can't think of a better-sounding piano recording right now, at least one with the highs so rich and ringing.  Oh to be a barfly in Baden..

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