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Peter Johnson

Rodney Jones

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Danger! Danger! Blue Note Radio is opening my eyes to some new stuff, which is the last thing the ol' wallet can handle at present! :o

Regardless.

I'm really liking the cuts I've been hearing from Rodney Jones' record, "Soul Manifesto" (great title, too). Arthur Blythe and Maceo really kick the tunes up a notch, and while they veer a *little* towards the smooth for my taste, it seems like there's a hell of a lot of potential there. So I'm curious what you guys think of the full record.

I'm even more curious, however, about his previous BN outing, "The Undiscovered Few" which looks, according to its writeup at allmusic (I know, one opinion) shocking in that it appears to have been, well, "undiscovered."

Penny for your thoughts?

:unsure:

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For anybody digging a good groove, Soul Manifesto is a must! Lonnie Plaxico and Idris Muhammad are a great communicative team, Jones plays a lot of guitar, ......

The Undiscovered few is a little too ambitious for my taste, not as relaxed, with a focus on his arranging skills. Oliver & Thad (dedicated to you guess who) is my favourite on that one cause it swings real hard and has some nice unpredictable writing. Maybe I should give it some more spins to really appreciate it .... But certainly a disk worth checking out.

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Mike does a pretty good job desribing the two although I prefer "Undiscovered" for the reasons he cites. There is also an earlier one on Music Masters, I think, called "X Field" which is even better (quartet with Greg Osby). It is OOP, but should be easy enough to locate.

Eric

Edited by Eric

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I was totally unaware fo that "Undiscovered" disc. Y'all got me cursious now!

But I dig "Manifesto". Nothing fancy, just good solid vibes. I find myself playing it surprisingly often when I want an acquiescent "feelgood" record that I'm not overly familiar with. Don't come across those all that often, and at this rate, I'll be lunatically raving about it in 20 years!

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Based on the previous posts I have to check out some of the mentioned records. Soul Manifesto sounds great I know I have heard Jones life once but can't remember where or with whom. Remember it sounding great. I recently dig a record of mine alot that I have taped for the car. Hilton Ruiz' "El Camino" nice session with Ruiz, Lew Soloff, Rivers, the Gonzlez bros, Steve Berrios, Dick Griffin and Rodney Jones.

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I do not have much to add. I enjoyed both of his Blue Note releases. They are different and therefore satisfy different moods. I must second the mention of X Field with Osby. That is the recording that turned me on to Jones and it is very good, highlight by a very good version of a Jackie McLean tune - me thinks "Little Melonae"

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Great input--thanks.

Would those who have heard it put "Undiscovered" in a similar category as Stefon Harris' "Grand Unification Theory" in terms of concept, ensemble size/ambition, etc.?

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Would those who have heard it put "Undiscovered" in a similar category as Stefon Harris' "Grand Unification Theory" in terms of concept, ensemble size/ambition, etc.?

Interesting comparison, but I would say no. Have not listened to either disc in a minute, but from my memory Harris' disc focuses on the compositions and IMO the improvisations were not that significant. On the othe hand, although the Jones discs features strong arrangements, there is still a strong element of improvisation with good solos by those participating.

Edited by relyles

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I would agree with your description of "Unification," relyles. I've also found that each cut is designed for wholistic listening, not nearly as organic as some of Harris' earlier efforts. I should say I love "Unification," but point taken on the (great) comparison.

I guess it's time to start the search for "Undiscovered!"

Peter

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Soul Manifesto is a decent record and you can't go wrong with Lonnie Smith and Idris Muhammad but I find myself listening to Maceo Parker's LIFE ON PLANET GROOVE much more when I want to hear something fun-kay with Jones and Parker. Plus you get the JB horns and Larry Goldings! The only flaws in this record are the presence of Candy Dulfer and a couple of tunes in the middle that are a little too smooth, but the band grooves so hard you barely notice.

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Pass the peas!

I agree--life on planet groove is a great record if you can program out the tracks you mentioned. I can, and do, and with the audience noise it works pretty seamlessly.

:rlol

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I like both of Jones' BN releases. Manifesto definitely has a nice groove to it. Very enjoyable, certainly not challenging, but very enjoyable.

Does anyone know if Jones is still a BN artist?

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I saw him years ago when he was working with Dizzy Gillespie and I remember being very impressed.Next time Dizzy came around Rodney wasn't with him because he wanted more money and that resulted in a parting of ways.

Thanks for reminding me about Rodney.I'll have to check out his cd's sometime.

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Does anyone know if Jones is still a BN artist?

Rodney Jones' website doesn't give it away, but you e-mail him ..... The Players page has detailed background info on the Soul Manifesto CD.

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Gave The Undiscovered Few a spin and have to say it's better than I remembered. Has a definite link to the Blue Note tradition with reminiscences of Grant Green, McCoy Tyner and Duke Pearson, even Herbie Hancock from the old days and Greg Osby and Stefon Harris from the newer days of the label. His guitar playing is very good on that on and very nicely embedded in the ensemble. Give this disc a break! :tup

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I like "Soul Manifesto" quite a bit. Again, mostly for Lonnie Smith and Idris Muhammed. But Rodney Jones IS a bad mf. I saw him fill in for Randy Johnston one night at the Vanguard with the Lou Donaldson band. And man, they were on FIRE with him on board. He brings a real downhome phrasing and groove with him.l

One thing I don't dig about Soul Manifesto...it's so short. Something like 7 tracks or something. Could have been twice as long imho.

Also, if you dig that one, check out Bobby Broom's "Modern Man" with Lonnie, Ronnie Cuber and Idris. THAT is a smoking record NOBODY seems to talk about.

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How long has RJ been playing? I mean, he's on some mid-70's Chico Hamilton BN dates with Blythe, but he must have only been a teenager at the time.

And, yes, I agree -- both his BN dates are worth picking up.

For a chance to hear BOTH Broom and Jones with the *great* Kenny Burrell (who even plays banjo on this record), try to locate PIECES OF BLUE AND THE BLUES:

c59639uq969.jpg

Just don't confuse him with Ronny Jordan!

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Also, if you dig that one, check out Bobby Broom's "Modern Man" with Lonnie, Ronnie Cuber and Idris. THAT is a smoking record NOBODY seems to talk about.

B00005MK3O.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Thanks for the recommendation, just ordered it! Sound very promising!

I have only the companion to Pieces of Blue, Generation, and only can say I like it very much, which means a lot because guitar usually is not one of my favourite instruments .... (nevertheless I end up playing with guitarists all the time :rolleyes: )

Any body has a picture of Generation ? Couldn't find one on the web ...

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One thing I don't dig about Soul Manifesto...it's so short. Something like 7 tracks or something. Could have been twice as long imho.

:huh: My copy of Soul Manifesto has 9 tracks and runs 68:10 ..... :huh:

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How long has RJ been playing? I mean, he's on some mid-70's Chico Hamilton BN dates with Blythe, but he must have only been a teenager at the time.

According to AMG he was born August 30, 1956! Here's bio AMG bio:

An underrated cool-toned guitarist who sounds at his best in straight-ahead settings, Rodney Jones had his highest visibility during his period with Dizzy Gillespie (1976-1979), when he was in his early twenties. Jones had previously worked with Jaki Byard and recorded with Chico Hamilton, and he would follow the association with Gillespie by working for a time as Lena Horne's accompanist. As a leader, Jones has recorded for Timeless (in 1978 and 1981), the RR label, and in the late '80s for Minor Music.

Not quite up to date .....

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For those of you who may have missed the first time, Rodney Jones filed several reports for All About Jazz while preparing "Soul Manifesto." No sensational news or extraordinary insight ... but a comprehensive, told-as-they-happen account of making a record.

Making of A Jazz CD by Rodney Jones

Edited by Saint Vitus

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I quite like Soul Manifesto, and keep trying Undiscovered Few every now and then - to me, it has a similar vibe to Stefon Harris's Black Action Figure (which I love) so I figure I may click with it one day.

But by far my fave Jones stuff can be heard on the Maceo Parker album Mo' Roots. This 1990 Verve outing also features Parker's fellow Brownites Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis, as well as Jones, Larry Golding and Bill Stewart. It has my fave jazzy M Gaye cover (Let's Get It On) and classic soul jazzers such as Chicken, Southwick and Sister Sadie. This is a cooker!

Jones is actually the key - he's hot yet subtle; I can't even remember if he takes a solo, but his rhythm playing really drives along.

Its predecessor, Roots Revisted, has pretty much the same cast, and is also pretty cool, as is 1993's Southern Exposure - same folkses again, with the addition of the ReBirth Brass Band on a couple of tracks (including a ripper Mercy, Metcy, Mercy).

I've found Maceo's stuff since then not so satisfying for me personally - much less jazz and much much more (to me, tiresome) funk.

I also have Jones on a 1994 Telarc album called Right Turn on Blues by Jimmy McGriff and Hank Crawford. Haven't played it for yonks, but recall it as OK (and I'm surprised to find AMG giving it 4 1/2 stars!).

Edited by kenny weir

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Well, I've just dusted off Soul Manifesto and having had the walls shaking as I'm cooking dinner for family and friends (Burmese beef curry, Burmese mixed vegetable salad, plain rice; caramel cake, my current fave thing to make).

It's sounding pretty damn fine - much better than I remembered. A real solid workout. Turn it up!

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What time should we come over, Kenny? I've got a bottle of red just waiting to accompany a meal like that...

;)

Peter

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I remember this cookin' assistant from the old BBB days who's out of a job at the moment ....

zzhomecookininfectiou_101b.jpg

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