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Album Review

Rodney Jones was only 22 when, in 1978, he recorded Articulation, his first album as a leader. At the time, the guitarist was in Dizzy Gillespie's employ, and he was capable of playing both fusion and straight-ahead jazz. Jones favors acoustic-oriented post-bop on this self-produced effort, which Timeless reissued on CD in 1991. Although it falls short of exceptional, Articulation is definitely solid. The tunes (all of which are by either Jones or bassist Bruce Johnson) are worthwhile, and no one would accuse any of the musicians of not having chops (even if some of them still had some growing and developing to do in the late '70s). The participants range from alto sax great Arthur Blythe to up-and-coming players such as tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer, acoustic pianist Kenny Kirkland, and trumpeter Wallace Roney. In 1978, Mintzer, Kirkland, and the Miles Davis-minded Roney had yet to become major names in the jazz world; but in the 1980s and 1990s, all of them were quite visible. Blythe's passionate solos are a definite asset — in 1978, he was the session's best-known player. Nonetheless, Jones is the man in the driver's seat, and one hears his potential on tracks that range from the hard-swinging "Blues for Wes" (which acknowledges fellow guitarist Wes Montgomery) and the driving "1978" to the mysterious "Nereda." The latter employs wordless background vocals by singer Bemshi Jones, who remains in the background. Articulation is very much an instrumental album, and it paints a likable picture of Jones at 22.


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....
Full bio
Articulation, Rodney Jones
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion
  • Released: Sep 1978

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