Some stuff creeps up on you so organically, you just have to stop and collect your thoughts. A jazzbo vocalist that comes by her sense of soul naturally--her father was Martin Luther King’s doctor and her mother danced in the real Moulin Rouge---the soul she brings to her jazz really does come from the soul. Not drama soul but elusive and spirited soul. A mainstream record that somehow sails way out of the ordinary, it helps to have up market tastes to enjoy this set but you’ll be well rewarded in making the effort to come to it rather than making it come to you. The lady is no art chick. A solid tonic for jaded ears.
Chris Spector - Midwest Record
March 13, 2020
Ultra cool original jazz stories Joan Watson-Jones – Choices
Ultra cool original jazz stories Joan Watson-Jones – CHOICES: Jazz vocalist Joan Watson-Jones is a new listen for me; on this album full of ultra cool original jazz stories, she is joined by pianist Frank Wilkins bassist Dave Zox and drummer Alvin Terry… though I didn’t find any performances from the current release, I recommend you watch this earlier video to get a real feel for Joan’s shimmering jazz style…
…be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Joan’s YouTube channel, where you’ll find many other fine performances… I did.
Joan wrote “Martin” (no samples available yet; the album releases in May, 2020; I’ll come back and add those links in when I’m told it’s gone live), a song about Doctor King, after attending a rally with her dad in Harlem… soulfully performed, this tune will be a favorite with jazz DJ’s around the globe!
I particularly enjoyed Joan’s original “I Ain’t Just a Pretty Face”, which projects the full power of womanhood magnificently… if any song is “jazz” – this is IT, folks.
There’s a real “back-alley feel” to the 2:55 opener, “Topsy 2″… this is another tune I believe jazz DJ’s all across the globe will be spinning regularly over the coming months & years!
Of the eleven solid jazz vocals Joan offers up for our aural enjoyment, it was easy to choose my personal favorite… “A Glass of Wine” is a truly comforting tune with a laid-back and comforting groove.
I give Joan and her players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.98 for this most enjoyable album. Get more information on Joan’s website. Rotcod Zzaj
#Ultra #cool #original #jazz #stories #Joan #Watson-Jones
March 20, 2020
JOAN WATSON-JONES, Choices
In addition to being a noted recording artist, Joan Watson-Jones, a veteran of the New England Jazz scene, is host and producer of The Jazz Room, an online radio show where she plays music and interviews top names.
The magic of her guests and a wealth of jazz influences continues to rub off on the versatile, deeply soulful, emotional and sublimely swinging singer, who on her latest album Choices continues to reveal the depths of her artistry as an insightful songwriter and musical storyteller.
She bookends the set with a booming, wildly percussive twist on “Topsy 2” featuring her own lyrics celebrating her passion for dance, and a vibrant stroll through the always welcome and uplifting “Here’s to Life.”
The core of the collection though is a jazz troubadour’s delight, as Watson-Jones gets personal sharing heartfelt narratives about and featuring the wisdom of her parents, a family friend, her beloved husband and an old college friend.
Aside from being a delightfully charming set of vocal jazz, the perfectly titled album – featuring the singer’s longtime band members Frank Wilkins (piano), Dave Zox (bass) and Alvin Terry (drums) – feels like a warm, intimate (yet often rhythmically and harmonically rousing!) evening at home with her extended family.
March 23, 2020
Album Review: Joan Watson-Jones - Choices
Lance Liddle - Bebop Spoken Here
Joan Watson-Jones (vocal); Frank Wilkins (piano); Dave Zox (bass); Alvin Terry (drums).
To describe Joan Watson-Jones as late blooming is perhaps an understatement - her mother was dancing and boxing at the Parisian nightspot Moulin Rouge as far back as 1924! So, whilst I don't know JWJ's age she's certainly no ingénue. Which of course is totally irrelevant and I'm ashamed for even mentioning it! Much more important is that she can sing - and how!
Choices is her fourth album and the first one to contain predominately original songs.
Apart from her mother's ability to pre-date The Ali Shuffle and throw a mean left hook, her dad was a founding doctor in the Upper Manhattan Medical Group - perhaps he'd been on the receiving end of one of his wife's jabs - the institution that inspired Strayhorn's U.M.M.G.
However, that's enough of the facetiousness. Getting down to the nitty -gritty, the songs are full of meaningful lyrics about items that matter. Choices (her mother); My Child's Dreams (her father); Let Me Go (the graceful departure of a loved on); Talking With Martin (civil rights); The First Time We Met (an enduring romance); It's Been a Long Time Comin' (a new-found love).
Other tracks are: I Ain't Just a Pretty Face; A Glass of Wine and Time Passes.
The two non-originals are Topsy 2 and Here's to Life. The latter is a natural and fits seamlessly in with the originals making it the perfect final track. Topsy 2 I'm not so sure about. It's a great track grooving along nicely and setting off her jazz chops but, somehow, it doesn't quite gel with the overall mood. I look forward to hearing Joan on an album where it does slot in.
The supporting trio are more than just that - the singer gives them plenty of space and they don't drop the baton approaching the home straight.
I look forward to hearing more from this lady.