Successful series caps the year

Drummer Brian Jones closes out the first season of his Third Tuesday series this week at The Camel. With performances by his Double Quartet and Wurlitzer Trio and new albums from both, this is the big one, ladies and gentleman.

Since September, drummer Brian Jones has played The Camel on each third Thursday of the month. Since August, I have practically assaulted readers with this information on the regular. For that, I am sorry, but it’s out of love and a hope that you’ll check it out if you don’t know anything about Jones, jazz, or its sub-genres thereof. Tuesday night is the last night of part 1 of this monthly series and to close out 2009, Brian Jones Wurlitzer Trio and Brian Jones Double Quartet are sharing the bill to release their new CDs. This, to me, is the big one, ladies and gentleman.

My first experience ever with the music of Brian Jones took place about three years ago. A pliable young musical mind sat in an art gallery (ADA Gallery) located in a still unfamiliar place (downtown Richmond) with a large and strange ensemble setting up to play  (Brian Jones Double Quartet). Two drummers? Two bassists? All of these horn players! Like nothing else I had experienced before this point, my preconceptions of what was musically possible were shattered.

Rhythm section members were forced into non-traditional roles while their counterparts may have played the time-keeper (although maybe not). Drummer Brian Caputo played a radio. The two quartets didn’t only work together but sometimes intentionally against each other for the sake of juxtaposition. Luckily, I bought the CD so that my favorite memories from that evening, like “Roses For Red Roses” and “Jove + Silent Mao,” could live on. The CD is Fivefinger and it was released in 2004. Its follow up is being released at the show on Tuesday. This incarnation of the group includes Jones and Mike Kuhl (drums), Randall Pharr and Cameron Ralston (basses), Bob Miller (trumpet), Reggie Pace (trombone), J.C. Kuhl and Rick Rieger (saxophones and clarinets).

Listen to tracks from Fivefinger:

[audio: Roses For Red Roses.mp3|titles=Roses For Red Roses|artists=Brian Jones Double Quartet] [audio: Jove + Silent Mao.mp3|titles=Jove + Silent Mao|artists=Brian Jones Double Quartet]

Another highly rewarding and memorable music experience that occurred early on during my time in Richmond involves Brian Jones Wurlitzer Trio. The very creative Daniel Clarke is a perfect match for Jones’s open-ended compositions, and bassist Randall Pharr is cool and sturdy.

With Clarke enjoying recent stints with artists like K.D. Lang and Mandy Moore and Jones focusing on many of his other groups, the Wurlitzer Trio hasn’t performed in quite a while. Their 2003 release Drug Piano remains one of my favorites in Jones’s catalogue. They, too, will be releasing their new album tomorrow night. With heavily rhythmic melodies and corresponding grooves and beautiful ballads, the three are not to be outshone in intensity by the eight of the Double Quartet.

Listen to tracks from Drug Piano:

[audio: Testify.mp3|titles=Testify|artists=Brian Jones Wurlitzer Trio] [audio: Pinchback.mp3|titles=Pinchback|artists=Brian Jones Wurlitzer Trio]

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Dean Christesen

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