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A Thousand Small Things

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Album Review

2008 marked the 30th anniversary of Rodney Jones' recording career as a leader. It was in 1978 that a 22-year-old Jones recorded his debut album, Articulation — and 30 years later in August 2008 (around the time of his 52nd birthday), the guitarist recorded A Thousand Small Things. If the 30 years between Articulation and this 59-minute CD taught us anything about Jones, it is that even though he is not a jazz purist or a bop snob, he loves straight-ahead jazz and has no desire to give it up. So not surprisingly, A Thousand Small Things is a mostly straight-ahead album that contains a few pop-flavored offerings here and there. Jones makes some pop/crossover moves on "Grace" and the title track, but if those tunes qualify as smooth jazz, they are edgier and much more substantial than the mindless schlock and fluff that American smooth jazz/NAC radio stations were playing in 2008. And given the album's lineup — Jones is joined by alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, pianist Michael Kanan, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, and drummer Carl Allen — would anyone expect A Thousand Small Things to contain any outright elevator music? Obviously not. Even the disc's more pop-minded tracks have integrity. But again, straight-ahead jazz (some of it hard bop, some of it post-bop) dominates A Thousand Small Things. Jones is in very good form on Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight," John Coltrane's "Naima," and Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" as well as on Jones originals that include the impressionistic "Morning's First Light," the insistent "The Lost Blues," and the Wes Montgomery-ish "Blues Nexus." From hard bop and post-bop to crossover material, A Thousand Small Things is a solid way for Jones to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his recording career as a leader.


Born: 30 August 1956 in New Haven, CT

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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....
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A Thousand Small Things, Rodney Jones
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 26 August 2009

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