Jessica Jones Quartet: Continuum (Reva)

A review of the tenor saxophonist's debut album on her new label

Continuum by the Jessica Jones Quartet
The cover of Continuum from the Jessica Jones Quartet

Tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones has always maintained a holistic approach to her art, neither adhering to a single school of thought nor limiting the role that music can and should play in daily life. This broad belief system has already been channeled into a nonprofit—Rare Earth Vibration Association (REVA, for short), which fosters the spread of creativity and the understanding of music’s healing and nurturing properties. Now she’s taking this openly communicative mindset a step further by launching a label with fellow tenorist (and husband) Tony Jones. Each of the Joneses dropped a new album to mark the birth of Reva Records, but Continuum is the only one to highlight their front-line chemistry.

Keeping up with these intrepid seekers is no easy feat, as they’re comfortable in myriad settings. And with bassist Stomu Takeishi and drummer Kenny Wollesen filling out this estimable piano-less outfit, it’s no surprise that there’s a great acceptance of collaborative risk-taking. Twined tenors create a merger of Monk, introducing “In Walked Bud” to “Evidence” through the bookends of the latter. The quartet collectively loosens the seams on the free and curious “Just This.” And bass and horns patiently brood and bond over the topic of togetherness during “Wither Without You.”

Jones welcomes a number of guests into the mix as well. Alto saxophonist Devante Dunbar joins for three tracks, including the title track and the cooled-out “For the Cats on the Continent,” and vocalist Ed Reed drops by to add a little sunshine with “Just as It Is.” Those appearances each have their moments, but it’s the reprise of the title track, showcasing Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet and Mamadou Sidibe on kamale ngoni, a Malian gourd-and-string instrument, that best represents the continuum.

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Originally Published