From the album Players
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- Eugenie Jones
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A Unique Musical Journey
Singer/songwriter Eugenie Jones set out to accomplish something unique with her third release. She wanted to challenge herself beyond the achievements of her prior recordings. She did so by embarking upon a geographical and musical odyssey that entailed recording in four cities – New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Seattle – over four years, with thirty-two musicians. PLAYERS releases March 11th, and the odyssey’s results are impressive.
Jones wrote ten originals and transformed five jazz standards while musically accompanied by an extraordinary lineup that included NEA Jazz Master Reggie Workman, legendary Julian Priester, Lynn Seaton, Bernard Purdie, Bobby Sanabria, and many more.
The diversity of the release extends beyond the “players” to its tunes as well. Its Dallas session, with pianist Shaun Martin, bassist Lynn Seaton, drummer Quincy Davis, and percussionist Jose Aponte’, records Gershwins’ joyous swinger “I Got Rhythm” and two distinctive Jones originals: “There Are Thorns,” an anthem encouraging perseverance, and the darkly soulful “One More Night to Burn.”
The Chicago’s recording, with Lonnie Plaxico on bass and Xavier Breaker on drums, includes “Red Dress” and two Irving Berlin pieces in contrasting styles; “You Can Have Him” and “Blue Skies,” highlighted by a Fender Rhodes solo by Kevin O’Connell.
In Seattle, Jones explores Billy Strayhorn’s moody ballad “Multicolored Blue,” Nina Simone’s blues drenched “Do I Move You,” and four of her tunes, using three completely different lineups across the six tracks. Meanwhile, the New York session focuses on Jones’s originals, but these range from a hard-edged Latin groover, “Ultimo Baile En Casa,” featuring Sanabria, to a mellow, quiet storm-like ballad, “As Long As” that trumpeter Marquis Hill underlines with a beautiful solo.
The common bond, of course, is Jones. Her full alto voice, impeccable delivery, inventive rhythm, and expressive technique form an indelible stamp on songs of every type across every city and musician. Imbuing her original compositions with remarkable verve and passion, she also breathes startling new life into the standard repertoire, claiming the familiar tunes as completely her own.
Available online at https://eugeniejones.bandcamp.com/, Players invites listeners along for a musical journey not soon to be forgotten. Additional information about the release and artist is available online at https://www.eugeniejones.com.
“Jones is more than impressive in this far-flung, bicoastal, multi-generational cast of, well, Players who sound deeply in sync with her. It’s a two-disc album focusing on her originals, and every song is set to a memorable melody while her fine-grained voice and keen attention to her collaborators keep the ear piqued.” — Jazz Times review by Andrew Gilbert