Voted Best Jazz Singer in New Hampshire by New Hampshire Magazine, Joan is a equally passionate singer and advocate for the music. Joan Watson-Jones is well known throughout New England as both a singer and the creative force behind her own popular jazz show, “The Jazz Room” a 1/2 hour Internet based radio program on www.cyberstationusa.com
JOAN WATSON-JONES is a singer, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, and host and producer of The Jazz Room, an online radio program where she plays music and interviews some of the top names in jazz. On CHOICES, her fourth album, she presents a program of her original songs with music and lyrics penned by Watson-Jones, plus two standards.
Watson-Jones lives in New Hampshire but spends a lot of time at her family home in Harlem in New York City, where she was raised. Her father was a physician who had his office in the downstairs part of the house. “My father lived and worked in Harlem, because he was dedicated to living in the neighborhood where people needed him,” says Watson-Jones. He was on the team of physicians who saved Martin Luther King’s life when he was stabbed while signing books in 1958 in a Harlem department store, and he helped start the Upper Manhattan Medical Group
Video - Mother Wore Boxing Trunks
For Watson-Jones, entertaining is in her DNA. Her mother was a dancer who performed at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. She also worked up a popular act with another dancer in which they regularly boxed three rounds on stage. When she came back to the United States, she became a pioneering female boxer and continued to perform before retiring to marry Watson-Jones’ father.
Watson-Jones is a mainstay on the New England jazz scene, and she brought on board for this project old friends with whom she’s performed and recorded in various settings for 25 years. Pianist FRANK WILKINS is her arranger, accompanist, and creative partner. He has a long list of credits, including backing Dee Dee Bridgewater. Wilkins also accompanied Watson-Jones on her previous CD, Quiet Conversations, an intimate duet project. Bassist DAVE ZOX and drummer ALVIN TERRY are Watson-Jones’ longtime rhythm section and join her once again here.
Watson-Jones has recorded her own lyrics on other albums, but this is her first project featuring almost all original material. For Watson-Jones, nothing is more important than the people in her life. She is a natural storyteller, and the stories she tells grow from her life experiences.
Joan is a great storyteller and has packed this set with bountiful lyrics detailing personal experiences. She pays homage to her mother on the title track, her father on “My Child‘s Dreams”, and MLK on “Talking With Martin” as she makes a desperate plea to not regress on civil rights. There are the requisite heartaches on “I Ain’t Just A Pretty Face” as music director, arranger Frank Wilkins leads the supporting trio with accents in all the right places.
......“The songs are full of meaningful lyrics about items that matter. I look forward to hearing more from this lady…. She can sing - and how!”