Jonah Jones Quartet – Jumpin’ With Jonah

Jumpin' With JonahJumpin’ With Jonah
Jonah Jones Quartet
(Capitol Jazz/Blue Note – 1958/2000)
by Matthew Robinson

Hey, who’s that swingin’ that horn?
That sounds like “Pops!”
Well, though Jonah Jones and Louis “Pops” Armstrong were contemporaries, the comparisons stop the-Actually, Jonah and Louis do sound alike. And on this album (which takes its title from Jones’s third LP, but which is here reissued with some additional tracks), Jones puts his bell mute to many of the same songs Satchmo was known for , such as “A Kiss To Build A Dream On,” “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?” and “Bill Bailey (Won’t You Please Come Home),” many of which he sings on as well, just like Louis (though which a much clearer, less raspy voice).

In fact, Jones noted Armstrong often as an influence, alongside Dizzy Gillespie and Bunny Berigan. Though somewhat tight and pinched, Jones’s sound is swinging and peppy, as accessible and fun now as it was when he played with the likes of Jimme Lunceford and Cab Calloway. From the oddly quick pacing of “Slowly But Surely” to the plodding pops and rolling runs of “Night Train” and the stretched-out phrasing of “Just A Gigolo,” Jones offers a variety of moods from mellow to madcap and shows why he is considered one ofjazz’s most noteworthy nonagenarians.

© 2001 M. S. Robinson, ARR