Basics: What say you to a YAFI first -- at least for my tenure? That's right, I'm talking about some smooth, uncensored jazz. No more pop punk or countrified rock. Just the sweet, dulcet tones of Warren L. Jones III and his supporting cast.
Jones has a long, impressive history in music, spending 30 years as a professional bassist, composer, clinician and teacher. He is a Jazz Bass performance graduate of the Arizona State University School of Music and was an adjunct faculty member of both the ASU and MCC jazz departments.
Warren L. Jones III, it's safe to say, knows his jazz.
Best Song: This honor has to go to the best-named song on the album, "Indigo Bunting." Yes, jazz is hard to discern unless you exclusively listen to jazz and can thus tell the subtle differences and other nuances in a given album or song. What is not difficult to tell about Jones' music is that he is an accomplished and skilled musician. I might shock some people by saying this (not really), but I don't listen to a whole lot of jazz. That's not to say I don't like it -- Cinematic Orchestra's Live at the Royal Albert Hall was one of my favorite albums of 2008 and I know a thing or two about New Orleans jazz and funk. That being said, it's easy to tell on "Indigo Bunting" that Jones has surrounded himself with some of the Valley's finest talent -- Fred Forney, Jerry Donato, Tim Downs and Joe Garcia all provide stellar contributions on their respective instruments. "Indigo Bunting" is one of the more fast-paced, rambunctious tunes on the album and it features some pretty whimsical 'bone from Mark Witt.
Another Good Song: If "Indigo Bunting" is the best song on the album -- both in name and in content -- then "Freezer Queens" is a close second. These two tracks were the only two that really made me look up from what I was doing so I could remember their track numbers and, subsequently, their fantastically odd names. "Freezer Queens" replaces the stellar trombone of "Indigo Bunting" with some just as spectacular guitar wizardry, compliments of Mike Ozuna. There's just a hint of "Wonderful Christmastime" with Rachel Eckroth's keyboard playing. If this were being played live while I was at a bar or restaurant -- like Surprise's Eureka! Grill, where Jones is a regular on Friday nights -- I would actually enjoy myself.
Suggestions: Be careful with your punctuation/grammar. As evidenced on the album cover, the title of the album is "I imagine so...." with four periods and no capitalization for the album title. An ellipsis is three periods, not four. That extra period just looks sloppy.
If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:
Michael Lopez You Asked For It c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85034
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