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No Need For Words

Sean Jones

No Need For Words

Price: € 17.95
Format: CD
Label: Mack Avenue
UPC: 0673203105720
Catnr: MAC 1057
Release date: 03 June 2011
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Label
Mack Avenue
UPC
0673203105720
Catalogue number
MAC 1057
Release date
03 June 2011
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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DE

About the album

As we've all been told, birds do it, bees do it - but anyone who's actually gone to the trouble of falling in love knows that it's a lot more complicated when humans get involved. Which can make the reality of relationships a bit disappointing for those weaned on a steady diet of radio-friendly love songs, but can also provide a much richer experience than it's possible to describe in a couple of verses and a chorus.

As has become evident over the course of his five previous albums, Sean Jones is particularly adept at plumbing complex emotional depths through his trumpet playing and composing.

So when he set his mind to recording a set of love songs, it should come as no surprise that he delved into the evocative nuances of love rather than the more obvious boys-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl generalities.

"I didn't want to do your typical love songs record that just deals with one aspect of love," Jones explains. "Not just the love from a man to a woman or the positive emotional side of falling in love. I wanted to do an album that really dealt with a few different shades of love."

2010 was certainly a year of change for the trumpeter. In the spring he stepped down from his position as Lead Trumpeter of Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a position that Jones held for over half a decade. Additionally, he formed a new relationship with Marcus Miller, joining the bassist this past summer for a European tour.

Now, in 2011, the title of Jones' sixth CD for Mack Avenue, No Need For Words, sums up his overall approach. This is music that cuts straight to the emotional heart, whether dealing with passion, sensuality, parental nurturing, or spiritual forgiveness. Regardless of the particular feeling involved, Jones and his band communicate directly and movingly.

"It's definitely an emotional statement," Jones says. "I tried to make sure that the melodies I created and the vibe that I put on each particular tune really carried the message rather than having it expressed verbatim."

The title track itself, however, refers specifically to one aspect of love in which the verbal becomes unnecessary: the physical, carnal side, represented by some of Jones' most sensual playing, his horn virtually reaching out of the speakers to lower the blinds and light the candles in the room where you listen.

"Look and See", on the other hand, opens the album with a bright, engaging fanfare played by Jones and his longtime frontline partner, alto saxophonist Brian Hogans. The tune represents a far less intimate, more universal brand of love, something that Jones found missing from the repertoire as he prepared the album.

"I was thinking about the universality of love while we were on tour in Russia," Jones recalls, "and I started asking people, 'What do you think about love?' One young lady said, 'Love is all around you. All you have to do is look and see.' I immediately was inspired and started to hear music."

That sort of inspiration is key to Jones' creative process. Despite his penchant for creating albums that revolve around a central theme, those concepts arise out of the music he writes, not vice versa. "I allow the music to dictate what kind of album I'm going to put out," he says. "I don't like to write music that's contrived. For the past couple of years I've really been dealing with different types of love, so that's the music that's been speaking to me lately."

Jones' parents have both figured into that line of thinking. The gorgeous melody of the soulful "Momma" is such that, despite the album title, listeners may find themselves searching their memories for a forgotten lyric; it's the type of song that instantly insinuates itself into the consciousness, seeming as familiar as a half-forgotten song. "Lately I've been seeing how my mother is getting older and I just want to make sure that she knows I love her and I appreciate what she's given to me," Jones says. "She's not old by any means, but I wanted to give her flowers while she's living."

With a darker but ultimately redemptive view of the parent-child relationship, the gospel-inflected "Forgiveness (Release)" deals with the composer's long-held feelings toward his father. "'Forgiveness' is specifically about letting go of the anger I had harbored up towards my father. It wasn't necessarily about forgiving him or accepting his apology as much as it was about letting the situation go. I think that's really what forgiveness is about, getting rid of the actual happening of the event so that you can move on with your life."

Anger also enters into romantic relationships, expressed in the electrically-charged "Love's Fury", which features guitarist Matt Stevens responding to Jones' request for a savage growl. "I told him, 'I want it to sound like some kind of animal is going to come through the speakers and rip you apart.' I tried to make it sound as nasty and evil as I possibly could."

The disjointed, angular stop-start of "Touch and Go" depicts the back-and-forth, love-hate, on-again/off-again aspect of many relationships, while Hogans' "Obsession (Cloud Nine)" reflects just what the title suggests, the all-consuming nature of love. But Jones' view of love isn't all so jaded; "Olive Juice", driven by Khalil Kwame Bell's churning percussion, was inspired by a friend's newfound love and takes its title teasingly from an episode of Friends.

Despite the multifarious views of amour represented on No Need For Words, an entirely different type of chemistry runs throughout the album - that between Jones and his bandmates, the core of whom are together for their fourth CD in five years. Jones assembled the rhythm section for his 2006 album Roots, after observing the fact that Miles Davis' groups were comprised not of the legendary trumpeter's friends but from the strongest available talent.

"Miles didn't really hire his boys," Jones says, who plans to tour with Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller and Wayne Shorter in Europe this summer, a direct nod to the Miles Davis legacy. "Miles just went out and got the people he thought would fit best together to create something new. I think it's easy to hire people that you're comfortable with: we know them, we know they can play, we'll know they'll get it done. But I tried to pick people who I'd played with but didn't necessarily know all that well, bring them together and see what kind of sound came up. And the rhythm section that came out of that is very unique."

That section consists of Philadelphia-based pianist Orrin Evans, whose recent projects include his raucous Captain Black Big Band and the collective group "Tarbaby"; bassist Luques Curtis, who co-leads a Latin-oriented quartet with his pianist brother Zaccai; and Miami-born drummer Obed Calvaire, who has also performed with Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Lizz Wright and Steve Turre.

No matter what angle they take on the subject, Jones and company's blazing interactions reveals what any jazz fan knows is the greatest love of all: that between an artist and his music. As Jones says, "I like to play from the heart and not the head.
Seit bald einem Jahrzehnt ist Sean Jones dem Label MacAvenue treu, er legt jetzt sein sechstes Album bei einem der wichtigsten US-amerikanischen Labels vor. Dabei kann Jones ohnehin wahrlich nicht über Arbeitsmangel klagen: er leitet zwei Big Bands, spielt in der Band von Weltstar Marcus Miller, und bekleidet eine Professur. Doch seine persönliche Entwicklung ist ihm immer wichtig geblieben, auch und vor allem nach seiner Zeit an Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Es ist nicht übertrieben, wenn man den erst 32-jährigen bereits jetzt als einen der wichtigsten Trompeter des Modern Jazz bezeichnet. Seine Fähigkeit, selbst komplexeste Läufe gelassen zu spielen, auch in höchsten Registern, ist beeindruckend. Aber auch seine Kompositionen, die im Bop wurzeln, aber auch viel Latin und Soul erkennen lassen, sind für Jazzfreunde pure Freude. Wer im Sommer Gelegnheit hat, sollte auch nicht versäumen, einen der raren europäischen Auftritte zu erleben, bei denen er mit Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller und Wayne Shorter unterwegs ist...

Artist(s)

Sean Jones

Music and spirituality have always been fully intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, composer, educator and activist Sean Jones. Singing and performing as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, Sean switched from the drums to the trumpet upon his first exposure to Miles Davis at the age of 10. Twenty-five years later, he still cites Miles’ overall artistic vision and purity of sound as his greatest personal influence. But it was another immortal visionary who had a most profound impact when Sean was a 19-year old student at Youngstown State University – the magnificent John Coltrane through his masterpiece, A Love Supreme – “All at once, everything just came together for me. My past,...
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Music and spirituality have always been fully intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, composer, educator and activist Sean Jones. Singing and performing as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, Sean switched from the drums to the trumpet upon his first exposure to Miles Davis at the age of 10. Twenty-five years later, he still cites Miles’ overall artistic vision and purity of sound as his greatest personal influence.
But it was another immortal visionary who had a most profound impact when Sean was a 19-year old student at Youngstown State University – the magnificent John Coltrane through his masterpiece, A Love Supreme – “All at once, everything just came together for me. My past, my present, my future. I knew the course I needed to pursue.” Already exhibiting a superb control of the instrument through his private studies with master trumpeter and educator Esotto Pellegrini and his intensive listening to his other primary influences, Woody Shaw Freddie Hubbard and Clifford Brown, the young trumpeter committed himself to artistic excellence the pursuit of transcendence.

Five years later, after receiving his Master’s Degree from Rutgers University, Sean had a 6-month stint with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. This marked the beginning of a relationship with Wynton Marsalis, whose personal work ethic and ability to break barriers had already made a significant impact on the emerging artist. Wynton offered Sean a permanent position as lead trumpeter and Jones remained there until 2010.

A highly respected and in-demand musician even while at Rutgers, Sean was prominently featured with a number of artists, recording and/or performing with many major figures, including Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson and Marcus Miller. The relationship with Miller led to another highly impacting experience when Sean was selected by Miller, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter for their Tribute to Miles tour in 2011.

The trust and support of those giants led Sean to a decision to focus on performing with his own ensembles. Already touring and performing regularly with his own groups while at Lincoln Center, Sean also began his longtime relationship with Mack Avenue Records, for whom he has just released his seventh recording: im.pro.vise = never before seen. He’s currently performing with the quartet on his latest CD, who have been working together since 2007 – with pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Obed Calvaire. But Sean is also looking toward projects with new and larger ensembles, including orchestras. In addition, he’s planning on more forays into the world of Western classical music, while working on solidifying his pedagogy and increasing his lecturing and writing activities.

Heavily involved in education, Sean has recently joined the Berklee College of Music’s distinguished faculty as the Chair of the Brass Department. He has also taught at Duquesne University in his adopted hometown of Pittsburgh and at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, while regularly offering master classes and clinics all around the world. In addition, Sean also serves as Artistic Director of both the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Jazz Orchestras and is working toward organizing the various Jazz orchestras all over the country. Sean is current Artist-in-Residence at San Francisco Performances and is a member of The SF JAZZ Collective.

Clearly a passionately committed, heavily focused and deeply spiritual man, Sean relies upon his serious study of philosophy – especially that of 13th century theologian and mystic Meister Eckhardt; and Don Miguel Ruiz, whose vision is drawn from the ancient wisdom of the Toltec native people of Southern Mexico – to fuel the pursuit of his expansive and generous vision. Sean currently lives in Boston with his wife Stacey.


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