Nights out don’t get much more surreal than when Vince Jones is encouraging you to “go organic” through one of his original jazz compositions. But this is the modern day Jones. Known for crooning jazz standards throughout the 80s and 90s with his distinctively smooth sound, he now performs mainly original material that is all influenced by his own experiences and informed by his own social conscience.
Jazz isn’t really a traditional vehicle for enviro-preaching, but Jones covers several crucial social and political issues through his lyrics. For the most part it works, especially in the stirring Nature of Power.
Musically, his compositions are excellent. Absolutely dripping with soul and style, they spontaneously swoop and swirl as Jones effortlessly croons over the top. He’s backed by Matt McMahon on piano, James Waples on drums and Ben Waples on bass. As an ensemble, they’re incredibly precise and as soloists they have some jaw-dropping musical moments.
[pull_left]A chance to see Vince Jones live is like a master class in music[/pull_left]
Jones has such an ease onstage that can only come from years and years of experience, but he leaves all pretention and bravado at the door and is obviously only there for one thing – to sing great music.
He still has a stunning voice that goes from a growl to a whisper in mere moments. He’s lost a little agility at the top of his range, but at 58 he’s still one of the country’s best jazz singers. When he throws in classics like Just in Time or You Go to My Head, he transports the audience to a smoky New York club in the 1950s. Blue Beat in itself has a real sense of style and perfect sound for such an intimate venue that all adds to the atmosphere.
A chance to see Vince Jones live is like a master class in music. His live shows really are all about great singing and great music with lyrics that are truly thought-provoking, despite occasionally missing the mark. Surreal and a great night out.