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Rodney Jones

Rodney Jones

Guitarist Rodney Jones once played with J.B.s, but now he’s with the McDLTs. Forget what you’re thinking. Jones, well-known on the New York scene as a go-to man for jazz, funk and R&B, hasn’t locked himself away sucking down a personal stockpile of McDonald’s now-retired bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. He’s not that hungry, but he is just hungry enough to have taken a job with John McDaniels and the McDLTs, the band America sees every weekday on the Rosie O’Donnell Show.

Before TV, Jones gained experience playing in the bands of Dizzy Gillespie and folk mainstay Pete Seeger, recording with Chico Hamilton, cutting albums for Muse, Impulse! and Music Masters, and serving as Lena Horne’s musical director. Impressive credentials, but what got Jones the job with Rosie was his familiarity with show tunes. Rosie loves show tunes, and because many of the jazz standards Jones cut his teeth on are drawn straight from the theater, he was just what Rosie was looking for: a made-to-order McDLT. But playing in and out of commercial breaks is just a day job, and like the dual-compartment foam container that kept the McDLT’s sizzling-hot beef patty quarantined from its ice-cold toppings, Jones successfully manages to separate his Rosie gig from his recording career. “There are two aspects of my career,” explains Jones. “There’s art and then there’s craft, and the Rosie show is craft. It requires a different set of skills and abilities that don’t have much to do with making musical art.”

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